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Aya (Aya #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,253 Ratings  ·  338 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
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 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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 ar ...more
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
May 12, 2016 prettybooks rated it liked it

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 :
Aug 12, 2013 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
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.
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 .
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
Lars Guthrie
Jun 21, 2009 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 childre ...more
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,
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
It was good. Nothing spectacular. I might continue with the series but I won't be broken up about it if I don't.
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
I loved this. I want to read the whole series.
First Second Books
Such beautiful artwork and coloring!
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
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
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
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
Mar 03, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this graphic novel, set in the Ivory Coast. I love the illustrations, very storyboard cinematic, and the colours are especially appealing.
Apr 25, 2016 Elinor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une lecture intéressante, je lirai la suite avec plaisir.
Mar 07, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, 2016
The peanut sauce recipe at the end in the bonus extra info about Cote d'ivoire sounds delicious!! The graphic novel was great, too.
Jun 01, 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 yo ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Gabriela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
"Parce qu'á Yopougon, c'est un peu come le ranch des Ewing: ça bouge beaucoup."
Mar 06, 2016 Kath rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, now. I have no idea how I ended up with the French (original) version of this published work (Gallimard, 2005). Even though my French is really rusty, I think I caught the drift of the book. The pictures and the fact that this is a graphic novel helped. As far as I can tell, Aya, a teenage girl, is from Yopougon, a country village in the Ivory Coast (Ĉote d' Ivoire). She and her friends are living a village life, but the introduction of television brings Western ideas to Aya and her friend ...more
Aya was in interesting look into a different culture. Set in the Ivory Coast, Aya looks at the rhythm of life there, discussing bigger issues such as class order, and teenage issues such as dating and dancing. The visuals were colorful and full of life and energy. The story was only fairly interesting.

The title character is rather aloof in the novel. She remains a static character, simply observing the hi-jinks of her friends and family. She is the voice of reason and plays roles such as matchma
Tanner Tolari
May 28, 2014 Tanner Tolari rated it really liked it
The book I didn't mind reading was a graphic novel named Aya by Marguerite, Abouet. Aya is 19 years old and she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. She Lives in a dangerous neighborhood with her family and friends. Aya parents are very strict parents and they are very concerned about Aya because she turning into a young adult. The neighborhood or place she lives is Yop City. Her goals in the story is to get a good education so she can become a doctor. But Aya also wants to find a guy to be w ...more
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.
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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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