Bonnie's Reviews > Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age

Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag
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's review
Dec 12, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: comic-or-graphic-novel, reviewed, library-books
Recommended for: fans of angsty teen graphic novels
Read in December, 2007

This book features a variety of short comics. Each comic is different from the next due to the different author's drawing styles and perspectives on life, but the common thread is that all the stories focus on the angst-ridden period known as Middle School.

I enjoyed the stories. You could really feel the pain, and it was a good feeling to know that almost EVERYONE had a miserable time in Middle School. It was also a nice sneak peek into a bunch of different author's styles, and now I know of several that I would like to read more of.

The big failing of the book, though, is that within the few pages each author had, much of the reader's time is spent trying to figure out who is who, and what's really going on. Also, they don't have much of a beginning or end, and most leave the reader hanging, wanting to know what happened. As a way to get a reader to want to read more by that author, it's pretty effective, but as a book unto itself, it makes for really frustrating reading.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ariel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:16PM) (new)

Ariel Only one of the stories - "Fair Weather" - is an excerpt from a larger graphic novel.

message 2: by Bonnie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bonnie If that's true, (and I'm sure you would know!) I would take it up with "School Library Journal" because their July review is where I got that information from. This is an excerpt from their review:

"Common themes of alienation, adjustment, popularity, and burgeoning sexual drives can be found in the various tales--with accompanying charged language--but what is most striking is their collective open-ended lack of structure and conclusion, due to their being originally from larger works. (skip to the end) In this fashion, the book does more artistically to demonstrate the potential of individual expression than the generic themes and the somewhat meandering plotting."

I thought that the review was unnecessarily harsh, but assumed that they had checked their facts about them being excerpts. It's disapointing to find that they did not!

P.S. I thought it was interesting that both you and your sister featured Ronica in your comics, in almost the same pony tail and striped shirt! I was wondering if she knows she gave both of you so much angst worthy fodder during your teen years?

Valerie um. that wasn't ronica. it was someone else. her name in my comic, i believe, is "sarah," and she has curly hair. if i think i know who you're referring to.

while i'm here. yes, only a couple of the pieces are excerpts. but i still think many of the comics, mine included, could've stood better plots/endings. glad you liked the book anyway.

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