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Aya (Aya #1)

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3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  3,526 Ratings  ·  372 Reviews
"That's what I wanted to show in Aya: an Africa without the . . . war and famine, an Africa that endures despite everything because, as we say back home, life goes on."--Marguerite Abouet


Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya's house every evening to watch the country's first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, "the strong man's
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Hardcover, 105 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published November 17th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Book Riot Community
In the introduction to this graphic novel set on Africa’s Ivory Coast in the 1970s, the author notes that it’s not common to read a story about Africans that is lighthearted, and some readers might go so far as to question whether Africans could really live the way the characters are portrayed. The answer is yes. Aya focuses on three teen girls, two of which are bound up in frivolous romances, and as one might expect, there is humorous fallout. Aya herself is the exception to the teen angst and ...more
Valerie
Mar 19, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Aya is a book about a teen-aged African girl living in the Ivory Coast during the seventies (a relative boom time). It's billed as being a graphic novel that shows that teens in Africa aren't so dissimilar to those in the U.S. (or teens in general, for that matter) and attempts to break the stereotype of Africa as an impoverished nation where all the kids are starving and/or in the midst of constant warfare.

It focuses on Aya and her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou, as they live their lives in "Yo
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Javier Alaniz
Dec 22, 2014 Javier Alaniz rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The standard narrative of any story set in Africa includes an empathy numbing array of horrors: Child Soldiers wielding machetes and AK-47's, famine, rape, AIDS, corruption, slavery. The desire to call attention to this awfulness is understandable, important even. Yet by having tragedy so omnipresent, it dehumanizes those dealing with that as a part of their life. Marguerite Abouet's series Aya consciously bucks this trend. The charming stories of family and community are startling in their lack ...more
Dan
Dec 19, 2009 Dan rated it really liked it
There's no point in my shouting out about folks taking comics more seriously--sure there's Persepolis, Maus, etc.--but look! A comedy of manners! From AFRICA!!! Who needs Jane Austen? To hell with Britain!
There's a comment by the author where she wants to show Africa without the war and suffering. To be honest, I can't help but think (and worry) about the characters' fates in the troubles that would be coming down the pipe in Ivory Coast in a few years.
This book is for the doubters. If you want
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Didi
Sep 09, 2013 Didi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Aya. It was Africa without the stereotypes of famine and poverty. It's full of life and in Yopougon there is never a dull moment. I'm anxious to read part 2 to follow the stories of Aya, her friends and family. I read this graphic novel in French but it is apparently available in English too. I now own two versions of part 1 - The movie book which I showed in my You Tube video and the smaller hardcover version which should look nice on a shelf when I have acquired all the volumes. The ...more
Cathy
Jun 27, 2008 Cathy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: Bob
I agree with other reviewers that the book spent a lot of time on Aya's friends and their promiscuity, but I'm wondering if that's the point. Aya's an aberration in her village. Girls are supposed to graduate from high school (if that) find a man, get married and have 10 or 12 children. She doesn't want to do that. She wants to be a doctor.
I'm wondering if the author's purpose in focusing on Aya's friends is to show how much she deviates from the "proper" role of a young woman. She discourages
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Oriana
Jan 02, 2014 Oriana rated it really liked it
#22 for Jugs & Capes!

Very enjoyable, but very slight. The girls in J&C all gushed over the artwork, especially the coloring, which is apparently quite advanced. (I don't know much about that, but I did think it looked great.)

Sort of a simple quick teenage soap opera, but great characters and excellent subtle reinforcement of the sense of time (late '70s) and place (Ivory Coast). I definitely enjoyed it, but we should have waited another month or so to read it until the deluxe pb editio
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Kerry
Jan 11, 2008 Kerry rated it liked it
This book is an interesting glimpse into a young woman's life in the Ivory Coast back in the country's heyday. I love the illustrations which capture the light and character of the Ivory Coast. The story itself is a bit predictable, but I really liked the background on the Ivory Coast, the glossary with Ivory Coast specific terms and the vibrant colors. I would definitely recommend it and it is a quick read.
prettybooks
May 12, 2016 prettybooks rated it liked it
14/20

Un premier tome qui plante le décor, celui de l’Afrique, de sa chaleur, de l’ambiance de ses petits villages et du quotidien des jeunes filles et des garçons. C’est chaleureux et drôle même si le personnage d’Aya ne nous est pas beaucoup dévoilée pour l’instant.

Ma chronique : https://myprettybooks.wordpress.com/2...
Ambre Lanes
May 03, 2013 Ambre Lanes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aya de Youpougon

This book is an african book wrote byMarguerite Abouet.

This book is about many girls. They are friends. They're Bintou , Aya , Adjoua , and they're parents.

I recomend this book ,because it is funny and people who like humoristic book would love this book .
Laila (BigReadingLife)
I liked the story, about driven, ambitious Aya and her boy-crazy girlfriends in the late 1970s in "Yop City," a working-class suburb of Abidjan. I liked learning a bit more about Cote D'Ivoire, about which I basically knew nothing. And I loved the artwork. Gorgeous colors.
Christina
Nineteen-year-old Aya lives in working-class city of Yopougon (also known as Yop City) of the Ivory Coast in 1978. Aya's father works for Solibra, a beer company, and is determined to establish a match between the young son of his boss and his daughter.

As a studious young woman determined to become a doctor, Aya is neither interested in this match nor in the cousin of one of her closest friends. As such, much of the novel is devoted to the antics of Aya's two closest friends, Adjoua and Bintou,
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
My rating of this one may not be reliable, as I have little experience with graphic novels. I'm calling it 3.5, but giving it the benefit of the doubt and rounding up.

This graphic novel is set in the urban Ivory Coast in the 1970s, following the (mis)adventures of three teenage girls from working-class families. Aya, our protagonist, is the responsible, studious one, with the result that she's often sidelined in favor of her more hedonistic friends.

The book's marketing is a little odd. Yes, it's
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Lars Guthrie
Dec 21, 2013 Lars Guthrie rated it really liked it
A perfect summer read--diverting, easy, and informative. It tells the story of an independent, strong-willed and ambitious young woman in the Côte d'Ivoire of 1978 and two of her girlfriends who are also independent, but not so strong-willed or ambitious. I laughed while gaining access to an Africa I hadn't known about. The author of the text was born in Abidjan, second only to Lagos as a major West African metropolis, and later moved to France where she collaborated with an accomplished ...more
Chessa
Fun little slice of life graphic novel that takes place in Ivory Coast in the 70's. Teenage shenanigans, fun art. I'm interested in reading other volumes of the series.
Danielle
It was good. Nothing spectacular. I might continue with the series but I won't be broken up about it if I don't.
Marieke
I loved this. I want to read the whole series.
First Second Books
Such beautiful artwork and coloring!
Corinne
rating: 3.5/5
This unique graphic novel takes place in a working class neighborhood in Ivory Coast called Yopougon. The year is 1978 and Ivory Coast is a model of growth and stability. Aya is a girl with dreams, a stable and responsible bystander to the romantic antics of her two best friends, Bintou and Adjoua.

The plot is a bit like a sitcom, with couples getting together or not, cheating on each other, getting in trouble and having problems with their parents. Older teens would find much to rel
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Nabse Bamato
As Aya is the first graphic novel I have read, I feel unqualified to comment on it particularly knowledgeably - but here are some brief reactions.

I love, love, LOVE the spirit and the vitality of the book. The pictures are absolutely stunning, the image presented of Ivory Coast is one of positivity and fun and the feel and the mood of the book is exactly what I remember from a brief time I spent in West Africa. The locations, the people, their problems and their solutions, their successes and th
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Anna
This book arrived today and I read it immediately. It was wonderful. It's kind of like Persepolis but it's fiction and it's set on the Ivory Coast, in Africa. This is really a historical graphic novel because it focuses on the 1970s era and shows what live was like in Youpougon, Cote d'Iviore during that time. It's a funny and real story that I think captures what it's like to be African but it's so easy to relate to that it almost doesn't seem African. The characters, three teenage girls and th ...more
Akoss
Apr 19, 2015 Akoss rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Aya and her best friends Adjoua and Bintou. Aya is as preoccupied with her studies and her professional future as her friends are with boys and parties. They strongly believe in finding that one man to make the rest of their lives worry free while Aya is trying without success to get her father to believe in giving a girl a higher education, not the proper husband.
It felt almost like home reading this. I say almost because I grew up in Togo not Ivory Coast but the two countr
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I picked this graphic novel up because of its unusual setting, the Ivory Coast. A note at the beginning of the book states that the story is set at a time when the Ivory Coast was flourishing, and its people were relatively wealthy. The title character, Aya, is a serious, studious girl whose friends are all mainly interested in boys and having a good time. At times it seemed that the story was actually more about her friends Adjoua and Bintou than about her, that Aya was simply an onlooker, ...more
Siria
Engaging and charming, Aya of Yopougon is a graphic novel set in a working class suburb of Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d'Ivoire, in the late 1970s. Its best attribute is its sense of balance: Abouet's humour is acutely observed but gentle, and her view of her hometown is affectionate but never rose-tinted. This first volume helps counter the prevailing Western view of sub-Saharan Africa as a place of disease, conflict and famine—here is a country which has class and social conflicts, which ...more
Hemi
Jun 06, 2013 Hemi rated it liked it
This is a story about an ambitious bookworm growing up amongst friends who have their sights on boys and partying. A major draw of this story is its depiction of life in a working-class neighborhood in an Ivory Coast city in the late '70s. The opening scene is a family watching a television set--and grabs you from the start as a nostalgic pastime that is easy to relate to. I want to read more about Aya--I'm not sure if the full series is translated into English but I'm curious to see how this ...more
Kathleen
Jul 14, 2012 Kathleen rated it liked it
This is a delightfully light soap opera comic set in Yopougon, a working class suburb of Abidjan, in the late 1970s. Naturally, this setting appeals to me far more than drama/romance comics usually do and turns teen pregnancies and bad dates into something a bit more novel and interesting. I like Aya herself a great deal. She should absolutely be a doctor when she grows up.

I recommend this comic for people who like slightly more serious comics, Africa, or delicious-looking stew recipes.
Ffiamma
Jan 17, 2014 Ffiamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, donne, bd
primi due episodi sulla vita di un gruppo di ragazze della costa d'avorio alla fine degli anni 70. il quartiere di youpougon fa da sfondo alla quotidianità di aya, adjoua e bintou: le famiglie, gli amori, i tradimenti, le difficoltà e le aspirazioni. colorato, allegro e commovente allo stesso tempo; bellissimi i disegni.
Rena
Dec 09, 2013 Rena rated it liked it
Between a 3.5 and 4-star rating.

I enjoyed Aya for insight into life on the Ivory Coast in the 1970s, and it's a entertaining for sure. It's also more dramatic than I thought it would be, though, but I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Eli Poteet
Nov 11, 2013 Eli Poteet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
My favorite was the illustrated glossary, it was a detailed and unexpected in contents. This is my favorite of random stumbled upon graphic novels. Simultaneously familiar and foreign, this illustrated literature is fantastic. Hopefully I will come across further episodes of this series.
Nicole
Jul 03, 2016 Nicole rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of YA drama with an adult edge
Good! A bit confusing, but that could say more about my attention span than the quality of the story.

Mostly, Michelle said it best, so go read her review.

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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 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)

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