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Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary
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Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,561 ratings  ·  287 reviews
In the tradition of Persepolis and American Born Chinese, a wise and funny high school heroine comes of age.

Tina M., sophomore, is a wry observer of the cliques and mores of Yarborough Academy, and of the foibles of her Southern California intellectual Indian family. She's on a first-name basis with Jean-Paul Sartre, the result of an English honors class assignment to kee
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Hardcover, 248 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,561 ratings  ·  287 reviews


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Krista Regester
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The illustration was on point, and I really enjoyed the story! Wish there was a sequel.
Sesana
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
On one hand, Tina's Mouth is treading very familiar ground. Tina's best friend dumps her in favor of her new boyfriend. She herself has a crush on a boy who's giving her mixed signals. Her family is loving, but both of her older siblings have dramas of their own going on that absorb much of her parents' attention. All plot threads that show up hundreds of times in YA. So what makes Tina's Mouth different?

There's the format, for one. It's billed as a graphic novel, and I'll give it that. But it m
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Diane
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I loved this book! Tina is the daughter of Indian immigrants, and has to deal with the usual questions about India - the red dot, the blue god, etc. But Tina is taking a course in Existentialism in her high school, which has led her to ask her own questions, such as "Who am I?" In her existential diary, which comprises the book, Tina addresses Jean-Paul Satre directly, eventually adopting him as something of a benevolent grandfather. The illustrations in this graphic novel are simple yet eloquen ...more
Michelle
The book is focused more on text than the art. I feel like this would have been better as a novel. It' the typical teenage angst type of book. this unfortunately made all the non-family member characters flat characters. Subplots are friendship seem to get dropped to quickly or forgotten until later. Reza appeared on like 3 pages, so his importance in the end came out of nowhere. The story narrative need to be tightened up. There were some interesting parallel between Tina and other characters b ...more
Liz
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked a lot of the ideas that were explored in this book, and I particularly liked that the resolution at the end wasn't perfect, but it was addressed as being imperfect. My only beef with the book was that all of the characters are drawn with light hair, so it can become really hard to distinguish between people in scenes with more than a few people in them. That is a really big deal for me, because I end up spending time trying to figure out who is who, and it takes me out of the narrative. ...more
Nafiza
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tina’s Mouth by Keshni Kashyap and Mari Araki (illustrator) breaks all sorts of boundaries. The novel is an interesting specimen of alternative narration that is sure to appeal to contemporary teens and young adults. Though ostensibly a graphic novel, it straddles the fence between an illustrated novel and a true graphic novel. The illustrations are fun and breezy and I especially love the way the characters have been drawn. Tina has a long-suffering expression on her face which fits in perfectl ...more
Raina
First of all, I think the cover on this is absolutely yummy. Rich teal with colored images of the girl and her philosopher.

The story isn't bad either. Fairly standard coming-of-age, girl in a private school, crush on the wrong guy, Indian-American, friend-break-up, cast in a play, teenage story. Personally, I didn't feel the influence of the existentialism much at all, except as a gimmick. But it's an engaging enough story.

The illustration style is the most unique thing about this. Black and whi
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Angela
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
Quick review: While the content and storyline of this graphic novel was smart, I wasn't impressed with its execution or the artwork. Transitions between sections seemed jumpy, even within chapters, and elements of the storyline that could have been really meaningful were either touched on too briefly or conflicts were resolved too easily. The artwork never grabbed me and was too simple for my liking, and the images that spanned two pages were often gulped up in the middle by the binding so that ...more
Jenna
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Interesting. I wouldn't say it's on par with American Born Chinese but still an entertaining read.
Bibi Larson
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a cute book from the perspective of a teenage girl - great book!
Kim
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Tina has to do an unusual project for her Existential Philosophy class, so she writes/draws a journal to Jean Paul Sartre, father of existentialism. A great addition to the graphic canon. Funny in a deep way.
lucy  black
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story is ok, pretty generic but good. I loved the drawing style, inky and eyebrowish.
Nancy Kotkin
Story: 2 stars
Art: 2 stars

A hybrid between epistolary format and graphic novel. A high school sophomore writes a diary to Jean Paul Sartre for her honors English class, which focuses on existentialism. I thought I would like this book because I was so enamored of Camus and existentialism while in college. But the focus of this book was way more on boyfriends, dating, shifting friendships, and fashion than on existentialism. Perhaps a young teen might like this book, but it seems to re-hash a lot
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Ashley
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I’m so tired of girlfriends in high school drifting apart and one of them is labeled a slut. “In a world full of Nancys, be a Barb” makes me want to tear my hair out!!

I loved seeing Tina learn and apply existentialism to her life, though. And she wasn’t goth? Refreshing.
Alydiah K♡
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
liked it, but caution to kids: it has bad words
Keerthi Sudevan
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I never thought I'd consume a graphic novel meant for TEENAGERS with such fervor! This coming-of-age story left me gasping for breath, because I could not stop laughing. Need I say more?
Blue
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Have New Year's resolutions gone out of style? I haven't heard anyone talking about them recently - and as the new year is only five days old, it is prime resolution announcement season. Or is it just that my friends are jaded, or lazy, and can't be bothered?

Not that I'm complaining. Personally I haven't made a new year's resolution in a couple of decades. They always felt more like a Get Ready To Fail list rather than a to-do list of improvements.

But, in a move that might make me sound hopeful
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Glenda
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This smart, graphic novel will appeal to budding philosophers seeking to answer life's existential questions: Who am I? What purpose can I find in my life? How am I "to be" in this confusing world?

Tina, the diary's first-person protagonist sits on her "bench of existential solitude" pondering her life and how to complete her honors English existentialism project. While other students choose to record the contents of the family fridge and refuse, Tina writes a diary to none other than Jean Paul
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Courtney
Tina is having a period of existential solitude. She's just been "dumped" by her best friend and now sits alone at lunch. She has trouble identifying with her classmates, who all seem to fit into neat, tidy groups, and her large Indian-American family. She begins keeping a diary as part of her English Honors project and addresses her entries to the existential heavyweight, Jean-Paul Sartre. Tina finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone to take a break from her solitude. She ends up starrin ...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dorothy
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-finds
I liked this book alright. I wasn't sure whether the drawings were purposefully subpar because they were supposedly drawn by a high-schooler, or just kind of crappy. Anyway. The printed font text didn't always flow with the drawings, either. And for some reason, I never fully approve of a comic that was written and drawn by two separate people. Books with illustrations, fine, but a comic . . . it's just weird. If you're into comics, you just make your comic. The whole thing. So it was weird; the ...more
M
I just blew through this in about an hour. I didn't want to put it down, because it was cute and interesting and reminds me of something that I would have written or done when I was in high school. I like that the art style was consistent with the fact that Tina is a teenage girl, and not something completely mind-bending that didn't match the writing.

Given that I can no longer read books without the feminist lens, though, I was disappointed with how Tina made it a point to declare that she was
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Amy Armstrong
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am a sucker for witty graphic novels with a female protagonist that don't involve random threesomes. Even if Tina's Mouth had a threesome in it, I think would be more awesome than the rest because the writing is hilarious. Tina's family moved to California from India before she was born, and even though her parents raised her like an upper middle lass white girl, some of the homeland vestiges linger e.g. saris at weekend parties, and matchmakers.

Tina's best friend, Alex, "dumps" her when she g
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Jennifer
This book is good but not great, and falls somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but I gave it 4 stars, because this book rang true in terms of its descriptions of high schoolers, teenagers and family, and was even a little bit reflective of my high school experiences, which rarely happens. Tina's Mouth has enough self-deprecating humor that the book doesn't come off, at least not to me, as extremely pretentious, despite the fact that the main character reads philosophy books during her "freep" (free ...more
Romie
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I liked the central conceit of the book, and a lot of things about it were well executed. The sense of place was nicely specific. I found page 147 hysterical, and in general the send-ups of various forms of pretension were witty and novel. But the book didn't really gel for me, largely because the narrator struck me as ingenuine - it read like a 20-something trying to sound like a teenager, and was consequently much flatter than the actual voice of a teenager. That kind of blandness is a killer ...more
Karla
A solid book about identity, friendship and love. Really loved the art.
Claire
Slight -- not terrible but not particularly interesting or fun either.
Sarahanne
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a great take on a YA novel. Cliques & cliches thru the eyes of an Indian-American girl with a Sartre filter. Really enjoyable.
Alissa
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Does anyone else out there look at the cover of this book and think, "Daria"?

(You know, Daria. That 1990s MTV show about the world seen through the eyes of a sarcastic, semi-genius teen. She's got a super popular sister, a cheeky best friend who kind of dumps her over boy drama about 3/4 through the show's run, an unrequited crush on a unreliable older guy, clueless parents, etc... She's a little too wise for her own good, yet completely clueless about other things that come so easily to her mo
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Rachael Quinn
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This week, in a further attempt to catch up my TBR, I read Tin'as Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary.  I loved it.  I simply loved it.  This was the first time in a long time that I have read a whole book, even a comic, in a day.  It was hard to put down, even when I planned on putting it down.

Tina is a fifteen year old at Yarborough Academy.  For her English Honors class final project, she is keeping an existentialist diary which she chooses to write to Sartre.  The idea is that she will explore
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Born in Singapore and raised in Los Angeles, Keshni Kashyap is an author, screenwriter and filmmaker whose films have screened in over forty festivals around the world.

Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is her first book and a collaboration with Los Angeles-based Japanese painter Mari Araki.

She lives in Los Angeles where she writes for film and TV and is at work o
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“But enough of the drama.
Winter has turned to spring.
And I am feeling good.”
3 likes
“In Sartre's hell, there are no torture devices, no devils. Just the INABILITY to become the person that you are.” 2 likes
More quotes…