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Into the Dangerous World

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*"This striking combination of story and illustration creates a powerful portrait of a budding artist." Publishers Weekly starred review

Raised on a Staten Island commune in the 1980s, Aurora has never attended a day of school, and has seen little of the outside world. What she knows best is drawing. To her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she makes sense of the world. When her father burns down the commune, killing himself in the process, Ror’s life changes. She ends up in Manhattan, where she discovers that the walls, the subways, the bridges are covered with art. Before long, she runs into trouble with Trey, the ultimate bad boy and president of Noise Ink, a graffiti crew she desperately wants to join.

When Ror falls in love with Trey, she realizes she’ll do just about anything to get up in the scene. She has some decisions to make: she wants to be a street artist but she doesn’t want get shot by the cops; she wants her art in the museum but she doesn’t want to die waiting to become famous; she wants to makes money selling her work in a gallery but she doesn’t want to be a puppet at the mercy of a dealer. The book follows her descent into a dangerous world, where her drawings are her only salvation.

"I think I’ve found my new favorite author! This story of a young artist’s struggle to find her voice against all odds shimmers with authenticity. Julie Chibbaro understands the actual dynamics of being a high school student and struggling with the volatile world of street art and the insular nature of high art. Every character feels like someone I’ve known, debating how art fits into their life.” --Ron English, acclaimed street artist, culture jammer, and designer of Popaganda.

“Rebellion, peer pressure, the desperation to belong—who can't relate? But there's more here. Chibbaro's wholly original outsider character, Ror, takes us into the world of graffiti artists. Written with a wild abandon matched only by a haunted and unapologetic main character, this bold book wakes us up to an urban tribe who operate in the margins. Then there's the powerful, primal art by JM Superville Sovak. The art feels so organic to the text, it's hard to imagine one without the other. Yes, this is a dangerous world, but all the world is dangerous until, like Ror, you learn to listen to your own voice, and determine to be the architect of your own dreams. A little rough around the edges where it needs to be (I can hear some parents and teachers groaning about the language), Into the Dangerous World is a journey worth taking. This is one author I'll definitely be watching.” --Nikki Grimes, award-winning author of Bronx Masquerade

352 pages, Hardcover

First published August 18, 2015

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Jean-Marc Superville Sovak

2 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
909 reviews13.8k followers
June 25, 2017
DNF at 148 pages.

This book's idea was solid, but I hate the way it was done.
It's set in the 80s about an artistic girl who lived estranged from the world on her family's small farm, but then moves to NYC when they become homeless. There were just several things in this book that I could not be on the same level with.
1. The main character was so estranged from the world that her whole mentality is that "everything is dumb! i hate people! the "normals" are so dumb, the cops are pigs, i hate organized society," etc. etc. etc.
2. The slang of NYC in the 80s is something that I find so lame, it was grating to read. The dialogue on every single page, to no fail, makes me cringe.
3. The girl is interested in doing graffiti, which is really really uninteresting to me. I kinda expected better from her.
4. The pictures in this book are not nearly as pretty and artistic as I thought they would be. They're very cryptic and confusing, and don't add anything to the story.
So yeah, i'm not a fan of this book. I was gonna push myself to finish it but I honestly can't. The main character is a downer, I think the time period is annoying, and tbh i'm not intent on finishing a book that I know I would not enjoy, at all, no matter how it ends.
Profile Image for ♡ Kim ♡.
136 reviews249 followers
December 28, 2015
Into the Dangerous World quickly drew me in and kept my interest to the end. It is slightly juvenile, but it is targeted at 14 years old and up. I enjoyed the pace and the idea of reading a book from a teenage perspective. In the end, I ended up loving this book and wanted to know what happened next. ...next week, next month, next year.

I am very pleased to have won this book in a first reads giveaway – Thanks Goodreads!

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,399 reviews9,534 followers
August 27, 2015

I thought the book was pretty good. My star rating is actually 3.5.

Aurora (Ror), her mom, her sister Marilyn and her dad all live in a commune, squatting on land that they don't own and making a home selling things they make and from animal produce. Their dad brings in a few more people into the commune. But their dad isn't all together there and soon everyone leaves but Ror's family. Their dad does something drastic and Ror, Marilyn and her mom are left on their own.

They end up staying at a shelter for a little bit until they can get some kind of housing. Ror didn't like the shelter, she wanted to just go outside and stay somewhere.

The place stank of anonymous farts, pit funk, dollar store perfume.
*End Excerpt*

They end up in this community motel place, which just seems like an old apartment building to me, but anyway, they have a room, a tv, a hot plate and a couple of other things. They have to use a communal bathroom.

Marilyn and her mother want Ror to wear a wig so she doesn't have to wear hats all of the time. The back of her head got burned so she was a bit of a skin head back there. This is Ror's interpretation of what she thought!

I looked in the mirror. I looked like I belonged in that movie Hair. Like some tv hippie. I pulled the headband thing down around my neck, flipped the wig sideways, and bared my teeth. Now I looked like I was in a band with Sid Vicious
*End Excerpt*

Needless to say, Ror didn't wear the wig.

Ror is a really great artist. Even the local man in the paint, etc store thinks she should show her work to galleries. He's nice and I liked his character, his name was Jonathan.

But Ror ends up in a graffiti crew. She drew some really awesome things with this group. I was afraid she would end up doing this and blow her whole supposed future away when she started skipping some school.

It all worked out okay in the end. I'm not sure whatever happened to Ror, but I would like to know if she went on and became something.

There is also some really nice graphics throughout the book.

*I would like to thank Penguin Books and Julie Chibbaro for giving me the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.*

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Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews169 followers
September 9, 2015
First off I have to say that I love Graffiti. I mean it takes balls of steal to draw something in your heart somewhere you know your not supposed to. I live in Boston and I swear I could spend all day looking at all the great graffiti we have here. So when I saw this book was about graffiti and one girls journey I knew I had to read it. The only thing I wanted more of from this book is what happened to my girl Aurora AKA Ror.

Ror loves art and drawing. She spends her days and nights drawing things and painting things. She has no idea what the real world holds because she lives on a commune with her parents and sister. Her father is the leader of the commune and tells Ror to always remember her gift and keep on painting and drawing. Then one day something tragic happens and Ror and her mother and sister leave the commune and flee to Manhattan.

When they arrive in Manhattan they go to a shelter to stay until they can get an apartment. Ror definitely is out of her element as she has never been in the real world. It is here she will have to go to school and see graffiti every where. She loves it because the museums and art galleries show her so much more than she could have ever imagined. It was funny reading about her first day at school and what she thought of the other kids and how she felt being somewhere new.

Then she meets a bad boy you know the one your mother told you to stay away from well this is Trey. Lord he is such a bad boy plus he is the leader of Noise Ink a graffiti crew. She starts to graffiti with them and she soon finds herself in trouble. She is now faced with many options. She could follow her teachers advice and go to college or she could continue on her destructive path with Trey and the crew or she could listen to her father and follow the classics who are in the art museum.

What will my girl Aurora do?
Profile Image for Crystal | decorating.reader.
385 reviews190 followers
August 30, 2015
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this one. It definitely isn't one I would have picked up for myself (the publisher sent me this one), so I was very hesitant to try it, but it was actually pretty good overall. I liked Ror and seeing how she grew throughout the story. I really like that the setting was in the 80s. The illustrations in the book are really great and added a lot to the story. I really didn't have any issues with the book, I think just since it's not really my type of book I didn't LOVE it. I do feel that others will, and this would be a really good fit for a high school library. It's a very good story about teens who have to struggle to get somewhere in life and not to give up hope no matter how tough things are.
Profile Image for Emily.
238 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2017
So, this book. This. Book.

There have been plenty books in recent years that are so called “hybrids” - part graphic novel, part traditional, written book.

But, to be honest, Into the Dangerous World not only fits this category the best, but also is the most hard hitting and the best written.

Ror doesn’t have an easy life, and never has. Her father has raised her with warped views of the world, some good, some bad, and some blatantly wrong. She’s grown up learning to distrust the government in a homeschooled and socially tolerable existence, and then suddenly, she’s thrust into New York under government assistance.

This books is more about identity than anything else. Ror has to figure out who she is. Who she is as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a person. And, of most importance to her, an artist.

I have almost no complaints in this book. There are one or two sentences that stuck in my head and made me cringe, because they were jarring and obviously the author’s words, not Ror’s (“She said it like they had had a baby.”), but overall my only issue is that the book wasn’t longer, or doesn’t have a sequel in the works. Ror’s story isn’t over, and I want to see it to the end.
Profile Image for Becky.
827 reviews12 followers
May 1, 2017
This book was seriously putting me to sleep. It focuses almost entirely on the main character's relationship with art, and her relationships with other people were developed only as much as they were about art. When it comes down to it, I read for relationships, so I'm sure that's why I thought it was boring. If you're super into the graffiti scene in NYC in the early 80s, this book is for you.
11 reviews
September 11, 2017
Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro is an interesting book that shows the world through a day of a budding artist. As Aurora moves to a new place, she has to get used to being in a high school, as well as getting used to a new society and life. This book is alright, though it strays from a girl and her new experience to a romance story, which is a large downside from what I was expecting. As a realistic fiction novel for young adults, it was easy to follow and despite the stray from the original point, it was a nice story that had a lackluster ending. If it stayed on track with what it was trying to end up being, then I would have enjoyed it much more. The moral of this story is to be yourself and do what you’re passionate in despite other people, which is a good message for young viewers. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t mind a story straying a bit or something that is like Fault In Our Stars which kind of has the same basic premise.
Profile Image for ristubasan.
214 reviews1 follower
October 21, 2016
I have mixed feelings about this book - but then I'm not the target audience for it. I liked the artwork interspersed with the text, but inevitably they didn't always mesh, and I felt the artwork sometimes did a better job of exploring the protagonist's contradictions and the troubled influence of her father on her thinking. As a coming of age story there were moments when it really worked, and moments when it set itself back - maybe that's the style, I don't typically read this particular genre. I'm more used to books that attempt a wider character development, whereas this was told entirely from the perspective of one teenager as she develops a sense of herself. I felt the backstory the author gave her (raised on a commune with adults generally beating their own path) meant she started with more of a sense of self than most teenagers have, and the author could have explored that more had she also developed the other characters who came from the commune, or possibly just by occasionally describing the protagonist from the perspective of the other characters. Good; thought-provoking; yes. Yes, I'd recommend it, cautiously.
Profile Image for Laura.
3,684 reviews95 followers
January 1, 2016
As a teen visiting NYC in the 70s and then as a young adult living there in the 80s, I remember the graffiti covered trains and stations (and the movie Turk 187 - anyone else remember that?). While some was really beautiful, most of it was just tags defacing others property. The author here has tried to explain the why of how teens get into tagging, in some ways glorifying it; using a very naive character, Ror, as our entry into this world was a good choice. However, Staten Island is not the boonies (sorry, Manhattanites, but it isn't!) and the trauma of being ripped from her live on the commune to life in NYC isn't explored as deeply as it should have been. I also didn't see why it was set in 1984, when tagging and graffiti is still going strong (Banksy, anyone?). Maybe because there was no other way to give Ror the commune background?
373 reviews46 followers
August 27, 2015
Ror is a great person. She has been through the fire taking the house that her and Dado built. She had never been to school or out in the real world. After her tragedy of losing Dado and having to find a new place to live she is also made to go to a real school. Ror is a great character. She has a love for drawing. I am glad she met Trey and her other friends. The Dangerous World taught Ror a lot of new things. This book is well written. Give it a try.
Profile Image for Christine.
8,734 reviews22 followers
August 26, 2015
Oh my god the art the story

The art in this book is awesome I grew up in st.Louis mo. So graffiti was around a lot there so I know the look of it. But this story was so great this is such a great read. Worth the money. Pluses if I could I'd give this a 10. Thank you for letting me read in arc .I loved it so much I even bought .
Profile Image for Seth.
33 reviews
May 8, 2017
I’m not entirely sure what to call Into the Dangerous World, by Julie Chibbaro. It’s not a graphic novel, but the art by JM Superville Sovak is integral to the reading experience, so I guess I’ll call it an illustrated novel. Sovak creates the illustrations of the protagonist, Ror. They range from graffiti to sketches, and they help the reader to become immersed in Ror’s world. There is also plenty to like in Chibbaro’s writing.

From the very first sentence the reader is drawn into the story. It helps that it starts with a reference to Ror’s father burning their house down. But Ror’s past would be interesting without the fire. She lived with her paranoid father, mother, and sister on a commune with several others who wanted to live off the land. Dado, her father, was heavily influenced by the works of William Blake, he despised pop culture and was terrified of Reagan. But after Dado burns the house down and kills himself in the process, the family is forced to move to New York City.

The commune and the fire are really just part of the exposition, and the plot takes off as Ror tries to find herself while finding her way in a strange new place. She also discovers the world of graffiti crews. She’s quickly hooked as she meets Trey, a love interest and inspiration for her new passion.
The story is excellent and contains authentic details, Chibbaro clearly did her research, that help the novel to stand out. Her descriptions of New York through Ror’s eyes are vivid, particularly when she is consuming some form of art. She also nails the dialog of the teenagers in the novel, which is a huge challenge for young adult writers. Overall this is an ambitious and unique effort that is realized through the talent of Chibbaro and Sovak.

Teacher’s note: This is mainly for high school readers due to the language. There are also references to sex, drugs, and alcohol, but not enough to warrant concern for younger readers. The language is the reason I won’t recommend it to middle schoolers.
Profile Image for Jody.
123 reviews2 followers
November 1, 2017
This is a really original novel, told is both prose and artwork, and captures the feeling of 1980's New York City. Being a teenager is hard enough without your whole world falling apart. Raised on a commune, with no contact with the outside world, Ror must suddenly navigate homelessness, and school, in NYC when the only home she's ever known is burnt down by someone she loves. Ms. Chibbaro tells her story with emotional truth and fearlessness, enhanced by the drawings of Mr. Superville Sovak. Read this book.
Profile Image for Hillary.
142 reviews34 followers
February 18, 2019
I loved this wonderful coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of 1980s New York City, when graffiti artists were struggling to make their name in the art world. A teenage girl discovers herself as an artist against competing artistic paradigms. This unique novel is rife with allusions to William Blake, Andy Warhol, and many other creative geniuses, including Keith Herring, who is featured as a "minor" character and significant influence on the protagonist.
Profile Image for Annie Bannanie.
31 reviews
March 12, 2019
This book was too creative to not like. I really liked the characters, especially the protagonist and her creativity! I really liked reading about the protagonist's journey as a criminal who spray paints the streets and stuff. The book also had really creative pictures that she drew and I really enjoyed looking at them. I would definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for Janice Dimock.
220 reviews4 followers
March 8, 2019
This was an interesting YA coming of age story. The young protagonist, Ror, becomes obsessed with graffiti art and the young man leading a 'crew', but is torn between that and the classic art her late father wanted her to create. A brush with the law scares her into reconsidering her choices.
Profile Image for Solunar.
33 reviews
August 29, 2022
I thought it was a wonderful book. The art in it was delightful and punctuated the characters thoughts well. I wish the ending was longer by a bit so we got to see more of the consequences of her choice.
Profile Image for Anagha.
22 reviews2 followers
November 30, 2017
The plot of this book was great and had a lot of potential but it was so incredibly boring. I found myself dreading reading it and I eventually just gave up.
Profile Image for Olivia.
28 reviews
April 10, 2019

No one should read this book

I would suggest this book to no one (unless I don't like them)
Profile Image for emma.
104 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2020
i really liked looking at the art that went along with the story :)
5 reviews
August 7, 2020
The plot was good but wasn’t very well done in my opinion. The art was pretty awesome though. Also there was a lot of swearing, if that bothers you.
February 14, 2018
After a slow start I became mesmerized by Aurora’s journey toward independence. From her background on the commune and total reliance on her self-destructive artist father to her involvement with an underground graffiti crew, Aurora must learn to believe in herself as she navigates the dangerous world.
Profile Image for Britt.
318 reviews81 followers
August 17, 2015
Read the full review at Please Feed the Bookworm http://pleasefeedthebookworm.com ITDW_tag2

This book was unlike anything I have ever read in my life! I absolutely loved it. There wasn't magic or hot fae men or epic battles (well not the kind with swords anyway) but there didn't need to be. There was such a unique relationship between the M.C., Ror, and her art that the relationship took center stage and filled up the whole book.

Into The Dangerous World follows the tale of a young girl named Aurora, Ror for short. She has been raised on a commune and after her father decides to burn her house to the ground, with him inside, she and her mother and sister must begin again in New York City. They also must take part in the very system that they were trying to avoid in the first place.

Ror has been in the seclusion of her Staten Island farm her whole life but she has always loved art. When she moves to the big city a whole new form of expression is introduced to her through graffiti. The setting of the urban jungle is so unique not for the place itself but for the time that it took place. People were angry at the government. They felt Reagan didn't care and set up systems to keep the poor man poor and the rich man richer. This was a pivotal time in the city as kids were looking to express themselves and many found that outlet through graffiti. If you can't afford a canvas or supplies you make the world your canvas. Ror's introduction to graf was so amazing. She felt things so fully that it was tangible.

The main struggle of the book was really Ror's ability to except a form of art that her father had always told her was wrong just as she must live a life style she always was told she shouldn't. Ror's father wouldn't take handouts from anyone yet, he left his family in a position where they had to do exactly that. The art that is in this book is so fitting. Its a bit disturbing yet beautiful at the dame time. It really accentuates the book. i put together a small slideshow of a few of my favorites since there was no way I could choose just one.

 This book was such an unexpected treasure. it is sure to please art lovers and non-art lovers alike. It is the perfect coming of age tale of finding your way in the dangerous world.


Click below for the:
Into The Dangerous World Exclusive Trailer

 This review was originally posted on Please Feed the Bookworm
Profile Image for Michelle (Undeniably Book Nerdy).
1,139 reviews68 followers
September 13, 2015
Originally posted on Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks:
This book was quite unexpected, but in a very good way.

I have to admit, I was ready to feel indifferent towards this book. The cover and the synopsis didn't really appeal to me, but I picked it up because I was intrigued by the art. I flipped through the book, and some were beautiful while others were strange and the graffiti made me cringe (more on that later). But as I kept reading Into the Dangerous World I was absorbed by Ror and her journey of self-discovery.

First, of all I didn't know going in that Into the Dangerous World was set in the 1980s in New York City. The synopsis mentioned Ror growing up in a commune, but that didn't click with me. The time and place really added a different dimension to the story. I really enjoyed it all the more.

The story began with a bang. Ror's father burst into her room with a large roll of paper and was spouting about how he was going to save her. But he ended up burning down the commune, with him trapped inside. This left Ror, her older sister and mom homeless. They had to leave Staten Island and moved into a really crappy apartment and live on food stamps. Ror lived her whole life in the commune and Manhattan was a different world. All she had was her art, which was heavily influenced by her father. She ended up meeting Trey at school and she joined their graffiti crew called Noise Ink. She's exposed to a different kind of art that went against what her father taught her.

I'm not an art person. I do have some vague knowledge of different art styles and some classic and modern artists. The novel mentioned Dadaism a few times and I was able to associate it with art pieces in my head. That was a really fun for me. It brought me back to the Art 101 class I took in college years ago and I realized that I remember quite a bit from the class. This novel also name dropped a lot of artist names and it spurred some Googling on my part, and that was really fun as well.

The biggest impact Into the Dangerous World had on me was about graffiti. I've always associated graffiti with vandalism and didn't really give it much attention. When I see new graffiti on walls as I'm driving or walking in my neighborhood, my first thought was the delinquents struck again. When I first flipped through the book to look at the pictures and saw the graffiti, I was skeptical. But I got a different perspective on it from reading this novel. I didn't know about the unique tags names--it just looked like scribble scrabble to me--and its meaning to the individual. I haven't completely changed my mind about it (as an art form, it's not really my cup of tea) but I've come to appreciate graffiti art a bit more. It bears looking at a little more closely.

If you want a different kind of read, definitely pick up Into the Dangerous World. If you're an artist or interested in art discussion, you should definitely pick this book up. But if you're like me and not very well-versed in visual art, you'll enjoy it anyway. It was wonderfully written with an interesting main character, and the art pieces were striking and, at times, thought-provoking and really added to the story and Ror's journey as an artist. It brought up a lot interesting discussion about art and being an artist. To me, it's not a book that's going to stand out on its own among the other flashier YA titles, but if you pick it up you'll be surprised at how really good it is. I really enjoyed it, so much more than I ever thought I would. I hope you all give Into the Dangerous World a chance.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 6 books75 followers
September 20, 2015
First, I have to mention how well this was written. The story, written in the first person (which I normally don’t like) was so well paced and interesting that I just kept turning pages without realizing how many I had read. The only thing that stopped me was the art (which I will get to). This story is about a teenage girl named Ror whose life is going through a transition after her family’s home was burned down by her father who died in it. Her world is thrown into a spiral as she attempts the tough transition from a self-sustaining lifestyle in the country to the hustle and bustle of civilized living in the city with her mother and sister.

We see Ror find solace in an existing love of art after going to school for the first time. It’s during this time that she befriends a group of people who change not just how she looks at the world but also herself. Ror is slowly thrust into the world of graffiti art and tagging which she finds a love and connection with. However, it’s during this time that Ror is torn between the art on the streets and what her abilities could do for her and her life. She is caught between the worlds of Street art and Mainstream art while battling with the conflicts of who she was and who she wants to be and who society wants her to be.

Chibbaro did a wonderful job of showing her battle with the now and her potential. Another thing I really liked was how realistic Chibbaro was in writing the characters like Ror and her street crew. She maintained that tough urban attitude and tone that often is glossed over in some novels. It really gave the story another added dimension of realism, which I really appreciated as a reader. It made me buy into the story more than I think I would have otherwise. That tone added even more effect, I think, to the journey of personal growth and discovery that Ror was on.

Growing up I had quite the passion for drawing, and like Ror it was my release when life got hard. It was how I coped with things before I found writing. So in that respect I liked the connection I was able to make with the story and how art can change the possibilities for people.

Lastly, I want to talk about the art in this book. Yes, it is a novel with pictures! Who doesn’t love that? The illustrations were done by JM Superville Sovak and really blew my mind. In some ways and in certain cases stylistically the drawings reminded me of the art in one of my favorite books of all time, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Which also inspired me as a young artist. In Into the Dangerous World, the art was blended so fluidly that they truly added to the story instead of feeling like they were just there. In this case, the drawings made the story more enjoyable, understandable, more interesting and added a whole different level to the book that you don’t see often in YA fiction.

Between the honest and gritty storytelling, the pop culture references and the equally gritty drawings I really loved this book. Sure this is meant as a YA fiction novel but I think it surpasses that and goes into a book that even an adult could enjoy. Its sees Chibarro and Superville make for a great team both in publishing and in life.
Profile Image for Lauren.
133 reviews4 followers
August 10, 2015
Review originally from www.TheYoungFolks.com.

Ror has just gone through a traumatic experience. Her family lived on a four-acre commune outside of New York City with her father, her Dado, as the leader. They were following a manifesto he had created out of unhappiness with the government when, suddenly, he burns the place to the ground, killing himself and leaving Ror, her mother, and sister with nothing. It’s 1984 and her family is forced into a homeless “hotel” and Ror is forced into public school for the first time. Her counselor sticks her in an art class, where she meets Trey, the “King of the Underground,” a reference to the graffiti he and his crew create across New York City. Into the Dangerous World follows Ror as she tries to find her place in the world, getting involved in graffiti and other trouble as she struggles with that journey.

Into the Dangerous World is a very unique story, told using both words and illustrations. The underlying message is what stood out most to me as I read. Ror’s story is one of feeling lost and insecure in who you are as a person and the struggle to put the pieces together. She uses art as her outlet but even in her “safe space,” there are conflicting voices trying to push her to different paths: Do this. No — do that. This is something that everyone can relate to: trying to solve the questions of Who am I? and What I am supposed to be doing with my life? when so many people are giving you advice that only confuses you further. Into the Dangerous World is a very in-depth look at Ror’s struggle with this and I think this is what will make it resonate with readers.

Personally, there were some things that didn’t quite click for me in Ror’s story. Her attitude, use of foul language, and getting sucked into the street crowd so easily confused me with the contrast to her upbringing and how her family members were adjusting. It’s possible I just had a hard time connecting to Ror herself because of the time differences and the fact that I’ve grown up in a different lifestyle; I can’t seem put my finger on it for sure. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the story but I did feel conflicted with parts as I was reading. But the overall message and theme definitely hit home and I thought Julie Chibbaro had a wonderfully visual writing style. The illustrations were beautiful on their own and added to the story well, which was especially helpful with my lacking knowledge of graffiti.

Into the Dangerous World has the potential to be beneficial to a lot of teenage readers. The message is very well conveyed and inspiring and I think Ror’s story could resonate with a lot of young readers in similar situations. Into The Dangerous World also features diverse characters and settings, which there has been a big cry for in young adult literature lately. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read before and I’d recommend it for teenagers, and artists especially, struggling to find their identity.

Rating: 7/10
Profile Image for Joli.
416 reviews138 followers
September 19, 2015
Rating 4.5 out of 5
Into the Dangerous World, set during the Reagan Era of the early 1980's, is a thoughtful story of a teenager coming into her own as she deals with the recent death of her father. The story is driven by Ror's need to create art, be expressive, have purpose, and find her place in the world that hasn't had a place for her until now.

The illustrations add depth to the story and helped express the confusion that Ror experienced from losing her father. She tried to make sense of his last words to her and she ultimately realized that she needed to make her own meaning. The vibrant graffiti was significant to the story and I would have loved to see some of the illustrations in color.

Ror is a new favorite character. She's courageous and daring and she speaks her mind - vocally (loved it when she gives Trey "real talk" or through her art. As confusing as her relationship was with her father, he also taught her to be independent, self-reliant, and imaginative. I enjoyed reading about her and knowing her thoughts and her fears. I would have liked more interactions with her sister. They were different in many ways, but there was a fierce level of protection and concern for each other.

Some Favorite Quotes:

"A wild cry of surprised joy strained at my throat. Doors flung open in my head -- I wanted to eat paint, let it zing out my fingers, get lost in the colors in this room.
Felt like I'd been waiting to breathe. Here was air." (pages 44-45)
- When Ror attends public school for the first time and sees all that she has access to in her art class. It expands her ability to create, be expressive, and to be alive.

"I drew like people breathed.
I drew because if I didn't, I'd die.
I drew to follow the shape of the world, so I could understand how it worked and why I was here.
All right, fine, I drew because it made other kids like me --" (page 55)
- An expansion of the previous quote, but also her art gave her the feeling of acceptance. She was different and it gave her an opportunity to be liked.

"I'm not scared to fight, Trey. Or dance. Or whatever. I just want to know what I'm fighting for. At least tell me that." (page 237)
- She needed a purpose if she was putting herself in danger. She needed to know the reason for all of the conflict and confrontation and if it was something that she could stand up for.

Into the Dangerous World is a fantastic story and I want to read more books like this one! And if this book ever becomes a full-color graphic novel, I would want to read that version of it too. I loved it!
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Author 6 books1,204 followers
August 28, 2015
A really enjoyable novel with illustrations. I wouldn't call it a hybrid since it's not hugely illustrated, but they do add to the narrative.

Ror grew up on a commune that was run by her father. It was more of a hippie sort of set up than a religiously-devoted group. When her father dies in a fire, she, her mother, and her sister are put into public housing in New York City. It's the first time Ror has attended a public school or really been around other people her own age. It's not long before she begins wanting to spend time with Trey, a black guy who happens to also live in her building.

Turns out, he's part of a graffiti group and Ror, an artist, wants nothing more than to fit in with the crew. She's put through a series of try outs to fit in, and she's not really making her family happy . . . nor is she entirely sure that she's happy here, either.

This book is set in the 80s, but it really could have been set today. Technology wasn't an issue at all, though this did have a bit of history steeped in with Reagan economics. This was kind of lost on me, though, as someone who was a child during the 80s, so I'm curious how teens would see it or understand its context. Not the end of the world and it doesn't detract from the story, but I am curious what it added for those who are more knowledgable.

I loved the look at art, both high and low, and Ror was a really interesting character, as she straddled the lines of being naive from her commune upbringing but also being hardened by living in public housing and dealing with the struggles of growing up in poverty. The interracial relationships are pretty good, though I would have loved that push just a bit further. Ror is the white girl in a group of teens who aren't white.

A good read alike for those who dug SHADOWSHAPER, but this one comes without the magic or fantasy elements.
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