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Aya (Aya #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,071 Ratings  ·  424 Reviews
For the residents of Yopougon, everyday life is good. It is the early 1970s, a golden time - work is plentiful, hospitals are clean and well equipped, and school is obligatory. The Ivory Coast is as an island of relative wealth and stability in West Africa. For the teenagers of the town, though, worries are plentiful, and life in Yop City is far from simple.

Aya tells the s
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Jonathan Cape (first published November 17th 2005)
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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
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Javier Alaniz
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Abbiamo ancora questa stupida e datata idea dell'Africa come continente povero ed arretrato, spesso veicolata dalle pubblicità di onlus volenterose che sperano di arrivare al nostro portafogli grazie alle lacrime di qualche bambino.
Grazie al cielo abbiamo questa nuova letteratura che ci presenta invece un continente vivace, giovane, volenteroso, dove cambia certo l'ambientazione ma non le vicende di questi adolescenti. I ragazzi sono ragazzi ovunque: vogliono divertirsi, fare l'amore, sfuggire a
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.
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
#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 editio
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Un premier tome qui plante le décor, celui de l’Afrique, de sa chaleur, de l’ambiance de ses petits villages et du quotidien des jeunes filles et des garçons. C’est chaleureux et drôle même si le personnage d’Aya ne nous est pas beaucoup dévoilée pour l’instant.

Ma chronique :
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 .
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.
I loved this. I want to read the whole series.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un petit moment que je voulais découvrir Aya de Yopougon, version bd. Oui, parce que moi, j'ai d'abord regardé le film. Complètement transportée jusqu'en Afrique, là-bas, en Côte d'Ivoire, le pays de mon défunt père. J'avais cette impression d'être dans le village, avec la famille, de sentir la bonne odeur des épices, de toucher la terre, d'écouter les gens parler, de manger des bananes plantains. Oui, je connais tout ça. Je connais le comportement des filles ivoiriennes, même ceux des garçons. ...more
Lars Guthrie
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
First Second Books
Such beautiful artwork and coloring!
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.
It was good. Nothing spectacular. I might continue with the series but I won't be broken up about it if I don't.
This graphic novel shows everyday life in Ivory Coast, and I enjoyed it. Aya is a high school girl who has her own plans for her future, she doesn't just want to be a wife, she wants to educate herself and become a doctor. Aya isn't a clear main character in this book - we also follow two of Aya's girlfriends as much as her. This first volume mainly shows the reader the premise, the characters and the community - but it was very interesting and I am intrigued to read the next volume of this seri ...more
I was surprised by the plot because I really didn't know much going into this book. And I'm glad, I think that made the journey getting there even better!

The illustrations had a life like quality to them, and of course being in color made them that much more enjoyable.

The preface was beautifully written and very necessary to read, so don't skip it if you decide to pick up this book.
Aya might be a bookworm, but her friends are party girls, and there is lots of stories going on in Yopougon...
Reta Anna Maria
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Ottaen huomioon, että sarjakuvan nimi on Aya, itse Aya jää kaikken muiden varjoon. Hän vaikuttaa olevan järjen ääni, kun taas muut koheltavat.

Hauska ja nokkela sarjakuva, joka näyttää monenlaista elämää ilman moralisointia, saarnaamista tai muuta sellaista. Ymmärrän hyvin, miksi tätä kirjaa luetaan lukupiireissä ja luetutetaan myös koululaisille. Monenlaisia keskustelunaiheita löytyy.

Ilmeisesti tätä ei ole suomennettu lisää?
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
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
More about Marguerite Abouet...

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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