jess's Reviews > Mercury

Mercury by Hope Larson
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's review
Aug 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, graphic-novels, yaf, ladyish
Read in August, 2010

This is the best that Hope Larson has ever been.

The story: Josephine and Tara are two girls separated by a couple hundred years. They live in the same house, Josephine in the late 1800s and Tara in modern day Nova Scotia. They share genes, a necklace, and the sort of eternal angst of crushing on boys, being a teenager, and conflicting with your folks. The two girls look almost identical, except Tara has cut her hair short. Their stories run in tandem in the novel, interspersed pages differentiated by the background (black/white). Sometimes with time traveling stories and multiple perspectives I get lost, but Hope Larson helps me stay present. The dialogue and characters are believable, but there is enough magic to keep you on your toes.

I liked:
+ Hope translates phrases from gaelic and Canadian with a little asterisk and a foot note.
+ The representations of movement/motion in the panels - the crows fill the sky, the ground fills in a hole, someone falls, etc. Beautiful.
+ The crow with a human face! So creepy and so wonderful!!
+ Why is Nova Scotia so charming in fiction? I almost want to go there.
+ Buried treasure storyline!
+ Boys are scoundrels but also sometimes not scoundrels.

The only thing I didn't love:
I felt like Hope Larson took the "look alike" storyline one step too far. Josey and Tara look identical, but no one ever mentions it because, of course, no one has ever seen them both. But Tara also looks like Ben, a boy she ends up spending a lot of time with. Discussions about Tara & Ben's resemblance is a major plot point. One or the other would have been fine, but to have both resemblances seemed redundant / heavy handed.
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