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(Aya #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  5,565 ratings  ·  566 reviews
"That's what I wanted to show in Aya: an Africa without the ... war and famine, an Africa that endures despite everything because, as we say back home, life goes on." --Marguerite Abouet

Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya's house every evening to watch the country's first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, "the strong man's
Hardcover, 9 pages of chiefly illustrations, 96 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published November 17th 2005)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,565 ratings  ·  566 reviews

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Kylie D
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A coming of age graphic novel, with added interest as it's set in the Ivory Coast. It shows that no matter what the culture, teenagers are still teenagers. ...more
Book Riot Community
In the introduction to this graphic novel set on Africa’s Ivory Coast in the 1970s, the author notes that it’s not common to read a story about Africans that is lighthearted, and some readers might go so far as to question whether Africans could really live the way the characters are portrayed. The answer is yes. Aya focuses on three teen girls, two of which are bound up in frivolous romances, and as one might expect, there is humorous fallout. Aya herself is the exception to the teen angst and ...more
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
There's no point in my shouting out about folks taking comics more seriously--sure there's Persepolis, Maus, etc.--but look! A comedy of manners! From AFRICA!!! Who needs Jane Austen? To hell with Britain!
There's a comment by the author where she wants to show Africa without the war and suffering. To be honest, I can't help but think (and worry) about the characters' fates in the troubles that would be coming down the pipe in Ivory Coast in a few years.
This book is for the doubters. If you want
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Aya is a book about a teen-aged African girl living in the Ivory Coast during the seventies (a relative boom time). It's billed as being a graphic novel that shows that teens in Africa aren't so dissimilar to those in the U.S. (or teens in general, for that matter) and attempts to break the stereotype of Africa as an impoverished nation where all the kids are starving and/or in the midst of constant warfare.

It focuses on Aya and her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou, as they live their lives in "Yo
Mariah Roze
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I am always trying to read graphic novels, because my students are obsessed with them.

"Ivory Coast, 1978. Family and friends gather at Aya's house every evening to watch the country's first television ad campaign promoting the fortifying effects of Solibra, "the strong man's beer." It's a golden time, and the nation, too--an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa--seems fueled by something wondrous. Who's to know that the Ivorian miracle is nearing its end? In the sun-warmed streets of
Javier Alaniz
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The standard narrative of any story set in Africa includes an empathy numbing array of horrors: Child Soldiers wielding machetes and AK-47's, famine, rape, AIDS, corruption, slavery. The desire to call attention to this awfulness is understandable, important even. Yet by having tragedy so omnipresent, it dehumanizes those dealing with that as a part of their life. Marguerite Abouet's series Aya consciously bucks this trend. The charming stories of family and community are startling in their lack ...more
Update: Here's the full review:

Loved loved loved!! It is a different perspective of Africa and a great one at that! Ahhh just go pick it up. I already requested the rest of the series from my library!
Aya de Yopougon let's me kill two birds with one stone: my goal of reading African writers and my goal of reading more in French. Oh, and getting back into graphic novels, of course, so technically: three birds with one book. Muahaha. ;) Aya is a series of six bande dessinée albums written by Marguerite Abouet and drawn by Clément Oubrerie. Although not entirely autobiographical, the story is based on the author's life in Côte d'Ivoire.

In the sun-warmed streets of working-class Yopougon, aka Yop
Brown Girl Reading
I liked Aya. It was Africa without the stereotypes of famine and poverty. It's full of life and in Yopougon there is never a dull moment. I'm anxious to read part 2 to follow the stories of Aya, her friends and family. I read this graphic novel in French but it is apparently available in English too. I now own two versions of part 1 - The movie book which I showed in my You Tube video and the smaller hardcover version which should look nice on a shelf when I have acquired all the volumes. The ar ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
A book about middle class living in Africa, written by Marguerite Abouet from the Ivory Coast. The history lesson about the Ivory Coast and its economic development was much more interesting than the insipid plot. Aya is an independent young woman with dreams of a career, who does not want to become someone's wife or even worse, an unwed mother. Sadly, with the exceptions of studying hard and telling her father, she does not really do much to achieve her goals; instead, she watches her girlfrien ...more
Nina Chachu
Discovered this book purely by chance among books for French classes at Ashesi. I did struggle a bit with the French (mine is rather rusty, plus it is rather colloquially Ivoirian), but it was definitely entertaining and at times pretty funny.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This was okay. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad either. I was a bit confused about who was who though for the most part. ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The story revolves around Aya, 19 years old ambitious girl, whose dream is to be a doctor, and her friends Adjoua & Bintou, who are more interested in boys than anything else. It's an introduction to a series about the three friends. This is an attempt by the author to show the other side of Africa, or more specifically Ivory Coast, other than war & the sort. The main point is that, like in other place in the world, parents still want their daughter to marry "money" and not to be so am

Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cathy by: Bob
I agree with other reviewers that the book spent a lot of time on Aya's friends and their promiscuity, but I'm wondering if that's the point. Aya's an aberration in her village. Girls are supposed to graduate from high school (if that) find a man, get married and have 10 or 12 children. She doesn't want to do that. She wants to be a doctor.
I'm wondering if the author's purpose in focusing on Aya's friends is to show how much she deviates from the "proper" role of a young woman. She discourages
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
#22 for Jugs & Capes!

Very enjoyable, but very slight. The girls in J&C all gushed over the artwork, especially the coloring, which is apparently quite advanced. (I don't know much about that, but I did think it looked great.)

Sort of a simple quick teenage soap opera, but great characters and excellent subtle reinforcement of the sense of time (late '70s) and place (Ivory Coast). I definitely enjoyed it, but we should have waited another month or so to read it until the deluxe pb edition of all
Ambre Lanes
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aya de Youpougon

This book is an african book wrote byMarguerite Abouet.

This book is about many girls. They are friends. They're Bintou , Aya , Adjoua , and they're parents.

I recomend this book ,because it is funny and people who like humoristic book would love this book .
I loved this. I want to read the whole series.
Mallika Mahidhar
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The characters and story were light refreshing, a change from the usual depiction of Africa, which is what the author set out to do and achieved.

The illustrations and the colours used in the book are gorgeous!
Nineteen-year-old Aya lives in working-class city of Yopougon (also known as Yop City) of the Ivory Coast in 1978. Aya's father works for Solibra, a beer company, and is determined to establish a match between the young son of his boss and his daughter.

As a studious young woman determined to become a doctor, Aya is neither interested in this match nor in the cousin of one of her closest friends. As such, much of the novel is devoted to the antics of Aya's two closest friends, Adjoua and Bintou,
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
My rating of this one may not be reliable, as I have little experience with graphic novels. I'm calling it 3.5, but giving it the benefit of the doubt and rounding up.

This graphic novel is set in the urban Ivory Coast in the 1970s, following the (mis)adventures of three teenage girls from working-class families. Aya, our protagonist, is the responsible, studious one, with the result that she's often sidelined in favor of her more hedonistic friends.

The book's marketing is a little odd. Yes, it's
Couldn't resist reading this! Chose it because I have never read anything by an African writer from The Ivory Coast. Wasn't disappointed. There is an informative introduction about The Ivory Coast during the 1970s and how that period was a relative period of peace, prosperity and self-determination, atypical to the usual narrative of colonialism, despair, civil war and poverty.
The story follows fairly typical young adult concerns on working towards their futures or partying on in the moment and
Lars Guthrie
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
A perfect summer read--diverting, easy, and informative. It tells the story of an independent, strong-willed and ambitious young woman in the Côte d'Ivoire of 1978 and two of her girlfriends who are also independent, but not so strong-willed or ambitious. I laughed while gaining access to an Africa I hadn't known about. The author of the text was born in Abidjan, second only to Lagos as a major West African metropolis, and later moved to France where she collaborated with an accomplished childre ...more
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is an interesting glimpse into a young woman's life in the Ivory Coast back in the country's heyday. I love the illustrations which capture the light and character of the Ivory Coast. The story itself is a bit predictable, but I really liked the background on the Ivory Coast, the glossary with Ivory Coast specific terms and the vibrant colors. I would definitely recommend it and it is a quick read. ...more
Laila (BigReadingLife)
I liked the story, about driven, ambitious Aya and her boy-crazy girlfriends in the late 1970s in "Yop City," a working-class suburb of Abidjan. I liked learning a bit more about Cote D'Ivoire, about which I basically knew nothing. And I loved the artwork. Gorgeous colors. ...more
Fun little slice of life graphic novel that takes place in Ivory Coast in the 70's. Teenage shenanigans, fun art. I'm interested in reading other volumes of the series. ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
I really like this graphic novel. It's the first one I've read that takes place in Africa (specifically Ivory Coast). It makes me want to read more graphic novels set in an African country. ...more
Corinne Edwards
rating: 3.5/5
This unique graphic novel takes place in a working class neighborhood in Ivory Coast called Yopougon. The year is 1978 and Ivory Coast is a model of growth and stability. Aya is a girl with dreams, a stable and responsible bystander to the romantic antics of her two best friends, Bintou and Adjoua.

The plot is a bit like a sitcom, with couples getting together or not, cheating on each other, getting in trouble and having problems with their parents. Older teens would find much to rel
Nabse Bamato
As Aya is the first graphic novel I have read, I feel unqualified to comment on it particularly knowledgeably - but here are some brief reactions.

I love, love, LOVE the spirit and the vitality of the book. The pictures are absolutely stunning, the image presented of Ivory Coast is one of positivity and fun and the feel and the mood of the book is exactly what I remember from a brief time I spent in West Africa. The locations, the people, their problems and their solutions, their successes and th
Oh my God, you guys, I just read something in French and it was awesome? I'm not very proficient in French but I like to think I have the basics down. But the basics can't get me through a proper full-length book, now can they? And if they can, it'll take me FOREVER to do it. Which is why I decided to read this graphic novel in French (there is an English version of it though that you should check out!).

What caught my attention about this graphic novel is its setting which is the Ivory Coast, a
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Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. She grew up during a time of great prosperity in the Ivory Coast. At the age of twelve, she and her old brother went to stay with a great-uncle in Paris, where they further pursued their education. Years later, after becoming a novelist for young adults, Abouet was drawn to telling the story of the world she remembered ...more

Other books in the series

Aya (6 books)
  • Aya of Yop City (Aya #2)
  • The Secrets Come Out (Aya, #3)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 4 (Aya, #4)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 5 (Aya, #5)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 6 (Aya, #6)

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