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 the advances of men, she doesn't go to the local clubs and she definitely doesn't go out to the market square at night to hook up with men. Often it was hard to keep track of which of Aya's friends were up to what.
I love the illustrations, the color, the people and the atmosphere. It swept me into the story.
I wasn't going to pick this up and read it. I think I bought it for our collection because it received a good review ... looking it up in our catalog ... yup, School Library Journal gave it a good review. They mentioned, "This pleasing volume will make a good addition to graphic-novel collections." I'm glad I picked it up. I'm definitely going to buy the other one for the library. I know that I'm going to have to push this one on my teens, but I think they'll like it onces they get into it.
Addendum: looking at the reviews, I wonder if I got this one because Bob read it and liked it. Quite possibly.