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Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,250 ratings  ·  374 reviews
Growing up on the Aegean Coast, Ozge loved the sea and imagined a life of adventure while her parents and society demanded predictability. Her dad expected Ozge, like her sister, to become an engineer. She tried to hear her own voice over his and the religious and militaristic tensions of Turkey and the conflicts between secularism and fundamentalism. Could she be a scuba ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published November 17th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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 ·  2,250 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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Cristina Monica
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m sure we’ve all read books about people who deny themselves happiness because of their parents’ expectations. Or maybe because they think that what their parents want for them will make them happy in some way in the end.

But this book is not only about that. Özge does want to please her family, especially her father, but she realizes early on that she could never become an engineer, the only profession her father deems acceptable for a woman who does not want to marry.

She doesn’t have the grad
Russell Taylor
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey felt like it should have been a longer tale. Özge Samanci’s early years are richly detailed; as the protagonist ages, though, the granularity of the narrative stretches out, with discrete events replaced by more overarching sketches of longer periods of time and emotion. This may simply be an artifact of memory: disjointed and episodic recollections of early years giving way to more comprehensive understandings of later phases of life. This flow breaks do ...more
David Schaafsma
A graphic memoir about growing up in Turkey by now Chicagoan artist Samanci. I knew very little about Turkey so was interested. Also, it begs comparisons with Persepolis, as we get history of Turkey and the extent to which totalitarianism has affected its people. It sure affected Samanci, who was influenced by her uncle not to be a cog in the machine. It doesn't spare us some violence, so I wouldn't say its primary audience is necessarily kids, though it is a growing up story.

Her stern Dad want
How much do outsiders know about the country of Turkey?
Here, a professor from Northwestern University tells what it was like to grow up in Turkey. She follows her early life, starting in 1981 (before she started school), and ends during college as she looks toward a professional path.
Graphic novels are an evocative medium for memoir, and Samanci uses the strengths of visual storytelling to great effect. Her thesis was on using comics in the digital context, and this is clearly a thoughtful wor
Barb Middleton
This graphic novel is well done, but I'll have to send it up to the middle school library as it is too young adult for elementary students. Ozge Samanci's minimalist illustrations and dry sense of humor make this an excellent look into what it was like growing up in Turkey. The heart of the story is about Ozge trying to figure out what she wants to do in life and the difficulty of trying to live up to her father's expectations and imitate her brilliant older sister. She recounts the political an ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yaas
Here is the thing: Masterly drawn, and beautifully written, the book leaves you with a sense of incompleteness and a delusion that it should have been longer, braver and fuller, a much intended delusion aimed at and kept as a secret from you throughout the book victoriously by the writer; and you are hanging in time and space aching to find closure, only to realize it's the only thing the book hasn't offered you: Just like this country, Turkey itself. And you think, just for a second that this w ...more
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dare to Disappoint by Ozge Samanci is perhaps the quintessential tale of growing up in the 80s and 90s in Turkey in a middle class family. There is so much here that resonates with the experiences of many Turks who grew up in Izmir and Istanbul, went to cram school on the weekends in preparation for the national entrance exams, tried so hard to fulfill the expectations of many middle class families of parents working for the government, who, unable to bestow wealth to their children, insisted fo ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2. The name is everything. Dare to disappoint. YES! Do what is best for you and follow what you want from this short and wild life. Don't let the naysayers stop you.
3. She went to the grocery store by herself when she was 6 years old??!!
4. When Ozge just strolled into Pelin's classroom, it was the cutest thing ever.
5. I learned a lot of history from this book because it forced me to Google the political climate during this time period.
6. Another cute moment is when Ozge w
Evin Ashley
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was more sentimentally rated as a 5 - the colorful innocence in Ozge's imagery, as well as the acute awareness of self in the context of family and society, were marvelously poignant and led me to realize more about my own self.

Ozge adroitly illustrated the shifting sands of identity and stability as we navigate life. She bravely showed her vulnerability, and it made the reader - this reader - braver too.

Is this not the purpose of art? To touch another's soul, and to purpose enlighten
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book about growing up in Turkey in the 80s, the (kind of nationalistic) school education, the division between religious and non-religious people and the trouble of what to do in your life, with a society that only accepts engineers.
Apart from the religious stuff, it all felt so familiar with growing up in Greece.
Elizabeth A
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This graphic memoir is not labeled as such, but would work really well for kids, especially girls, fourteen and up.

It's the coming of age story about a young Turkish girl who struggles to reconcile her dreams with those her father has for her. Can she be both an engineer and a scuba diver like Jacques Cousteau? It's a delightful tale of family, friendship, and self-discovery, and while it touches on some of the social, political, and religious issues of the day, it does so lightly, and readers
Dov Zeller
I love the mischievous, rebellious sensibility that came through the pages early on in this book, much through the great relationship between Ozge and her sister and her parents. There is a lot to be said for the way these relationships are sketched out, and for the pluck of Ozge's young self. But somehow the book never quite came together for me. There were a lot of historical and relational moments I appreciated, but just as the Ozge of the book is trying to find herself, the book itself seems ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Licha by: daughter
Buudy read with my daughter, her book choice.

Graphic memoir about a girl growing up in her country of Turkey, centered around the school system with insights into her family.

I always enjoy reading about how different cultures grow live.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Dare to Disappoint is a graphic novel that speaks about the author's struggle as a young girl in Turkey during the 80's to live up to her parents' and society's high expectations with her education and career. Throughout her adolescence and college years, she comes up short to her goals, even with great determination and work. Ultimately, though, she realizes that she only went through this difficult path to please her father, and she should finally consider what she wants. She dared to disappoi ...more
I really liked Samanci's style, and enjoyed this story of her growing up a pretty normal kid in Turkey in a time of violence. But I never really felt any sort of emotional connection to her story, and at the end we're left to sort of infer that things turned out ok for her, since she's published this book, but it felt really abrupt to me, and I wanted more about what she did after that point to get to where she is today. And it seems like so much of the book is about her wanting to gain her dad' ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable graphic memoir from a lady my exact age who grew up in Turkey. I was super interested to find out that in her country, girl-hating nerds manifested as conservative Islamists. They love to argue over minutia, prefer the company of one another, and wear transitions lenses. THE SAME.

The art is really charming too. Give this to a teen who is studying way too hard and not enjoying it.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know so very little about Turkey, so this graphic memoir of a girl growing up there was an education. The culture and politics are very different from the US but a universal is the love between parent and child and the desire to please.
Ryan Milbrath
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
In English 10, after reading the memoir “Night” by Elie Wiesel we spend two weeks reading one additional memoir. The students have several options to choose from; the connection between the options is that the authors are from countries all over the world, rather than the United States. The students are split in literary circles to discuss their chosen memoirs. As the special education component in the classroom, I make sure to read or familiarize myself with the books that the kids on my radar ...more
Vinayak Hegde
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A beautiful book about growing up in Turkey. The author took an unconventional path and discovered her passion later in life (drawing). Her doting parents, a rigid educational system, close friends and a social setting where only engineers are valued provide a backdrop to her story. This could be India. The narrative flows smoothly as the protagonist (the author) struggles to discover what she loves and is good at. A coming of age story set in the rapidly changing Turkey.

The artwork is beautiful
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
One of the new choices for our sophomores to read in their memoir unit. Good message overall. I appreciate the art, but I struggled with following along with the organization because it was different from most other graphic novels I've read.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"come, let's swim against the current!"
Ben Schneider
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
wonderful inside look at growing up Turkey and navigating the educational system.
In the midst of the noise that I grew up with, I could not hear my own voice.
This graphic novel is lovely to read. It manages to hold emotional weight, depicting major conflict and violence, while allowing you to journey through the adventures of a heart-felt and well-drawn comic (that can be sweet in its depictions and yet never sickly sweet).

This is a fast read but I'm tempted to go through it again because it feels rich and layered and that details would be missed in the first attempt. It also made me want to learn much more about Turkey --- though written for someon
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I pulled this ahead in my threatening-to-topple-and-crush-me tall pile of to-be-read books because, hey, reading something about Turkey seemed timely. This is a lovely memoir with lots of energetic, clever, mixed-media illustrations. Samanci's journey, more to a decision than an actual place, is interesting and hopeful, and given weight because she's a character (so to speak) of charm and courage trying to survive a culture at times deeply hostile to her existence. Her humanity and even-handedne ...more
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was love at first sight for me! The title pulled me in right away, and the more I read of it the more that love grew!

A brilliant and true depiction of what it's like to grow up in poverty and in an oppressive place with standards you know you couldn't meet even if you wanted to.

This graphic tale is about discovering who you are and learning about yourself along the way. If you have ever felt lost or feel lost right now, this book will bring you peace (and insights into history).
Hannah Garden
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, october-2018
This was pretty good. You get a lot of history in it, sort of buttressing the central narrative of the author’s journey from childhood to determining the course of her future. Really cute drawings and the dialogue has pizzazz.
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While very cute and clever, the book also is also a thoughtful reminder of what it's like to grow up with a whole road of uncertain future ahead of us. Beautifully told and an enjoyable read.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I chose this book after watching some recommendations from Vanessa at Splitreads. Having previously traveled to Turkey without knowing anything about the country, I was struck by how uniquely the country was situated, straddling both Europe and Asia. I can't help but think that the geography of Turkey lends to a push and pull between adopting Westernized ideals and reverting to the more traditional ideals of the Muslim faith.

I could identify with Ozge's seemingly flightiness as she tried out di
Ben Truong
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey is an autobiographical graphic novel written and illustrated by Özge Samanci. Humor and youthful angst lighten this graphic memoir of life in a country pulled strongly in different directions by conflicts between Western and conservative Muslim values.

Özge Samanci is an artist and an associate professor at Northwestern University. She makes comics and interactive art installations. She keeps an online comics journal Ordinary Things since 2006.

This graphic
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Ozge Samanci is an artist and an associate professor at Northwestern University. She makes comics and interactive art installations. She keeps an online comics journal Ordinary Things since 2006. ...more

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