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3.09  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews

After a messy year of heartbreak and setbacks, Tara sets off to Ireland in search of clues to her family's ancestry, but what she found wasn't at all what she expected. Some of it has to do with the lack of records, but a lot has to do with John, the charming cartoonist she
Paperback, 152 pages
Published November 21st 2017 by Top Shelf Productions (first published January 1st 2015)
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3.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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David Schaafsma
"'Roots.' The word seems to have taken on a new meaning. It's become less and less about my family roots, and more about where I'll lay down my own."

Roots is Tara O'Connor's first long form graphic project, a memoir. It's kind of a book within a book, focused as it is in part on a kickstarter project that was successful, yay, preceding this book, a project about O'Connor's "finding her roots," in Ireland. Which wasn't as successful as she had hoped in making dramatic discoveries about her family
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Roots." The word seems to have taken on a new meaning. It's become less and less about my family roots, and more about where I'll lay down my own.

I think this is exactly what I liked the most about this book. It wasn't the fact that it was really cute and relatable but how Tara's 'roots' were sprouting as her story unfolded, instead of being already deep underneath the ground. It was how her future ended up mattering more than her past because that's exactly how life works. Because it is a tru
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, comics, bios
The searching for your heritage thing was so pushed aside that she really should have just gone with the Ireland romance part. Because neither felt 100% explored, and if the heritage was removed, well, then more romance time, right? Also, if the roots were so important, I family tree would have GREATLY helped.
Really 3.5 stars, it was a pleasant graphic memoir.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fine. I adore auto-bio and enjoyed the exploration of someone else's self-discovery, but the presentation was a little lackluster, almost perfunctory, for me. Art was good - I like a good thick line. I feel like this would be a story I'd rather hear her tell me, than read about.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
This graphic novel memoir covers the story of a young woman fresh off the heals of the heartbreaking end to a relationship, looking to find purpose and thinking that the place to start is a new project about re-discovering her Irish roots.

This was a random pull for me from the library shelves, based purely off the cover alone. Happy accident that I love travel memoirs.

So that being said, I really wanted to love this story. But throughout the whole graphic novel you can feel O'Connor's difficul
Barbara Senteney
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I liked this book, but found it somewhat slow, it did get better as it went along. The graphics are excellent, and children could also use it as a coloring book. It is basically an authors story of her own journey, and her visit to Ireland, which leads to romance. It was ok as I said just too slow paced for my taste.
J. Deans
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older readers of Raina Telgemeier, readers of autobiographies
ROOTS is a very personal memoir that is more about personal growth than the life story of a young artist. The book began as a journal of O'Connor's trip to her family's homeland, Irealand, after her life took a stark turn. However, it became a chronicle of change, as she struggled to find answers and purpose in a life she thought she knew. Comics became more than just a passion, but an outlet. The weeks that followed were something of a whirlwind, and O'Connor found herself exploring her family ...more
Dakota Morgan
Jan 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Roots reads like Tara O'Connor wrote a book because she started a Kickstarter saying she'd write a book. She flies to Ireland, ostensibly to uncover her family tree after a painful divorce, but instead ends up in the welcoming arms of a local fellow. They fall in love and stuff and long distance relationships suck and...wait, wasn't this book about Tara's family tree? Every 50 pages, there's a little blip about her ancestors, but most of those sentences end with question marks.

Sure, I understan
Mar 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Picking this up I was very wary. Right off the bat I was a tad annoyed with the title. It felt like with an already well-known piece of literature with that title, one with significantly more gravity, you could have picked something else, but okay. It was a tone deaf choice.
Granted, I did not get beyond halfway, but hardly any of the story is actually about discovering the author’s heritage. It’s mostly about how she hoodwinked a bunch of people into crowdfunding a trip to Ireland to hooku
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone who fell in love with Ireland, I fucking loved this book. It reminded me of a mix of Lucy Knisley's work and Craig Thompson's Blankets. I just wish it was longer. It's a self-publish book, so you can get it on the author's website!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Emory
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: northerness
Light. Thoughtful. Nostalgic.

I certainly enjoyed this graphic novel for what it was. There were some pretty nostalgic moments for me because some of her drawings and way of describing things put me right back in Ireland in my heart and described my experience of having to leave it. I did appreciate her perspective that the trip to find her roots became more about finding out what sort of roots she wanted to put down in the world - that was an enlightening paradigm shift for me, especially becaus
Aw, I like that it eventually (/kinda quickly?) became more about ~*love*~. Especially bc the info about her family was p dry? I think that’s more a function of the existing info on most ordinary people’s history being p limited to names, dates, births and deaths. She did a good job putting cute comics to that stuff, but it definitely wasn’t quite enough to sustain a whole book (which isn’t her fault! Clearly it was the kind of thing where she could only really know once she got there). But the ...more
Chelsea Martinez
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The story here is a bit misleading, it's a breakup and new relationship story, and it's a lot of telling not showing; even though it's a small book a lot of it is taken up with the process of making the book (the kickstarter, comic shows, etc.); the actual search for ROOTS is basically failed, and the protagonist notes that "when people travel, they often note the differences, but I noticed the similarities;" this is a fine observation but seems limited by the fact that she is in an English spea ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read travelogue/memoir of Tara's divorce and subsequent travels to find her family's roots in Ireland. Her travelogue quickly morphs into a memoir of her new relationship and the process of healing from a bad past relationship; the details about her family's past are pretty thin and info about Ireland is also spare. Roots isn't exactly what it sets out to be, but her look into healing is relatable and her new love is cute and sweet. O'Connor's black and white art is also really sweet and ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

The art style is charming, and it was a story with interesting, relatable, and heartfelt beginnings, but it was a little lacking for me in content. It's interesting that she mentions in the book that she was worried her readers would feel she hadn't lived up to her intent behind her kickstarter - I definitely felt that way. Everything felt a little vague and glossed over - I was looking for more detail that I just never got. Ultimately disappointing.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. I quite liked the introspective stuff, the break-up stuff at the beginning seemed to be pretty bang-on, and it tugged at my heart a little. I thought there would be a lot more historical stuff, and truthfully I'm happy there wasn't. It was a cute little romance, and I enjoyed it. Though I wanted a little more from the end, even just a "where are they now?" type thing.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming book. I'm not a fan of graphic novels, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I especially liked the illustration of what Tara saw while looking out the window in Ireland. I don't know what that struck me, but I could see myself sitting there, looking out that same window. I kind of knew where this was going, but I was still glad for the happy ending.
Catu Berretta
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Liked the art, liked the story but it felt too action driven where the action was: we went to get food, then we went to this park, then we went here and we ate this. The point of the story is about where she goes as she searches for her family's history but the shining moments where when she was reflecting, even if it was reflecting about how she didn't really learn anything.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Goodreads, IDW Publishing & to the author Tara O'Connor for this wonderful giveaway! What a beautiful book. I enjoyed every page! Heartbreaking & heartwarming with great art, also done by O'Connor. Tara confirms my need to visit Ireland one day!
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A lovely and refreshing memoir of a personal and relatable story. The more emotional bits are by far the best written parts, but still a touching story with some great art to go with it.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
It’s a cute little book, not quite what I expected and perhaps not quite what it set out to be, but that’s okay. Quick to read and likeable.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really cute graphic novel!
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful art, but the storytelling unfortunately doesn’t match its quality.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Wanted a little bit more out of this, not meaty enough for me but loved the art. 3.5 stars
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was amazing. It was a really great story with beautiful illustrations. The author captures the thrill of travel and the depths of heartache with a deft hand.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
I will never get the time spent back.
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Tara is a cartoonist currently residing in the New Jersey wilderness. When she's not drawing comics, she's teaching them. She drinks way too much tea and coffee, and on any given day there's a 90% chance that every meal she had was cereal.
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