Aya (Aya #1)
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Aya (Aya)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,883 ratings  ·  251 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...more
Hardcover, 105 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Valerie
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...more
oriana
#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...more
Kerry
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.
Javier Alaniz
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
Didi
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 ar...more
Dan
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...more
Lars Guthrie
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 childre...more
Lilli
"To the left is Adjoua, one of my best friends...And this is my [other] friend Bintou, who'd rather dance than study, anyday....And then there's me, Aya, 19 years old, wondering why anyone would think of beer as a vitamin."

3 cheers to a lovely book that also centred on the relationship between a girl and her girlfriends!

description

What a fantastic graphic novel! About a country in Africa as well! I absolutely love reading through the pov of such untold protagonists' stories. The Ivory Coast is not that cl...more
Ambre Lanes
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 .
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...more
Cathy
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...more
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, wand...more
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
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
Greg
I enjoyed this graphic novel, set in the Ivory Coast. I love the illustrations, very storyboard cinematic, and the colours are especially appealing.
Hemi
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 yo...more
Gabriela
"Parce qu'á Yopougon, c'est un peu come le ranch des Ewing: ça bouge beaucoup."
Kathleen
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
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.
Eli Poteet
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.
Molly
I really enjoyed this graphic novel about a girl growing up in Cote D'Ivoire in the late 1970s. I think it is meant to continue, though, as the story doesn't wrap up nicely at the end. Loved the instruction/explanation pages at the back, though, and plan on trying the peanut stew recipe...
Wilhelmina
I am not a part of the generation of graphic novels, but I am a curious reader and I really enjoyed this well illustrated story of three young women growing up in the Ivory Coast.
Kaylee
This novel follows the lives of several people (specifically Aya's two friends Adjoua and Bintou). Aya lives in the Ivory Coast, Africa and is 19 years old. This book talks about the lives of these three girls. Like most teenage girls, they talk about, hang out with, and fantasize about boys. Though it tells stories about each of the girls' lives, they are all connected back to the main character - Aya.

I enjoyed reading this book, however at parts were confused. I found it more difficult to foll...more
Marieke
I loved this. I want to read the whole series.
Chili Public
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...more
Silje
Aya is a young girl living in Youpogoun in the Ivory Coast in the 1970s. She's like most teenage girls, she's interested in boys, have dreams, her is becoming a doctor, and to hang out with friends. The Ivory Coast was a economic powerhouse in the 60s and 70s due to the production of cocoa and coffee unfortunately followed by an economic crisis in the 80s. The writer of this novel was a teenager herself in the 70s and wanted to tell this story to present Africa in a different way than what is no...more
Rhayna
This book is a comedy about an everyday love life. This book takes place in Africa and talks about a life of an African girl and what she goes through. There is also a lot of political talks in this book. The main character here is Aya, she is a young teenage girl who lives in Africa and lives with her mother, father and her brother. She helps her friend out because she was in love with a guy and gets pregnant by him. Her parents are very shocked and astonished at the fact she is young and she d...more
Daniela
Illustrator:
Clement Oubrerie

Genre:
Graphic Novel, Humorous, International, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Summary:
In this highly unique period piece, join Aya and her two best friends Adjoua and Bintou in a light hearted portrayal of Africa’s Ivory Coast in the golden time of 1978. The beautiful yet bookish Aya just wants to study and aspires to become a doctor one day. In contrast, her easy going friends are looking to hook up at the local maquis (a cheap place to dance and meet boys). It’s all...more
Jessica
Fantastically done! This novel is a charm of the Ivory Coast and you feel as if you are part of that culture---if only for the first segment.

This book made me laugh so much because it reminded me of the stories my extended family use to tell when the girls would want to "sneak" out and go out dancing. The way Aya misinterprets a man's attention and the hilarity of her friends situation (especially the final moment)is indeed why it has achieved status as a "must read comic." I'm glad I was able...more
Moira
Mar 31, 2011 Moira rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: adults, women
I think the thing that I enjoyed most about this graphic novel was the packaging. Beautiful hard cover, lovely pages and colors, and an interesting section in the back containing cultural facts and recipes.
The story itself was simple and predictable, real, and sad. The main character does not really participate in the story, and seems to be - like the reader - a viewer from the outside. This does accomplish one thing, and that is that it brings the main character and the reader onto the same pl...more
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Great African Reads: Mar/Apr: Côte d'Ivoire | "Aya" 29 29 Mar 22, 2012 04:38PM  
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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...
Aya of Yop City (Aya #2) The Secrets Come Out (Aya, #3) Aya: Life in Yop City (Aya #1-3) Aya: Love in Yop City (Aya #4-6) Aya de Yopougon #4 (Aya #4)

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