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Are You Listening?

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,231 ratings  ·  441 reviews
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.

This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by First Second
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,231 ratings  ·  441 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This book will always have a super special place in my heart because I read the entire thing from start to finish at Disneyland <3

TW: sexual assault, death of a parent
the biggest problem i have with graphic novels is always that i never FEEL ANYTHING. there's so little to them. they're like a meringue, and honestly, who likes meringues anyway?

but i digress.

at the best of times, a graphic novel tends to feel incomplete. this is only truer if that graphic novel contains two separate character arcs, plus a handful of very thorny and complex social issues, plus a near-inexplicable introduction of some very complicated magical realism.

basically what i'm saying is
This is an odd graphic novel.

It’s one of those stories you read because they’re fast-paced, mysterious and atmospheric, but you have no actual idea what the hell you’re reading about and what the point of everything is. It takes a while to even understand the link between the two main characters, let alone the plot itself.

And yet I enjoyed it. I finished it in a single sitting. I even managed to feel something for both Bea and Lou, despite knowing very little about both young women. But
David Schaafsma
Not much ever really happens in Tillie Walden books, but I haven't really much cared, for the most part. She's a very young and remarkably prolific artist/author who writes mainly about spacious and gorgeously pastel watercolored queer worlds, generally as few males as possible, and all the women/girls are halting, reticent, edging toward each other in desire. It's not wild women, never raucous hilarious women, it's tortured, private women.

This one is a little different in some respects; she's
A sorrowful and hopeful graphic novel that follows two women on a road trip through West Texas, both struggling to process and move past their respective traumas and grief. Not much happens in this story plot-wise, which gives space for Bea and Lou’s quiet and caring interactions to take center stage. Their friendship felt like the softly shining center of Are You Listening?, how they learn to trust one another despite their painful pasts and their stress on the trip. At its strongest, Are You ...more
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
TW: sexual assault described but not depicted
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review:

“But here, everything is listening. The road, the cloud, the trees… they know all your secrets. Everything you’ve seen is built by you. Which is why you’ll never see it again.”

Are You Listening? is a beautiful piece of magical realism, with enough mystery and heart to make it refreshingly profound as well as easily re-readable. I’d not only recommend it to fans of Walden’s previous work, but also to anyone looking for one of the most original
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Tillie Walden is one of the most talented comic artists of our generation. However, this is not my favorite of her books. I'd recommend On A Sunbeam and Spinning before this one- both of those books knocked my socks off. This one isn't bad, but I was frustrated by how similar the two main characters were, both in looks and in personality, and by how the surrealist/sci-fi elements of the story were never fully explained. In essence, do go read Tillie Walden; but don't read this one first.
Lea (drumsofautumn)

“You told me. You told me. That's fighting.”

This was so, so intense. I didn't know that this had fabulist elements in it, so I was a little bit caught off guard by that but this was so powerful and well done.

I read an ARC, so I don't know how this is gonna look fully coloured but the first couple of pages were already so promising and in general the art is absolutely beautiful. I could imagine that I'd give this five stars if I reread a finished copy!

Trigger warnings for rape.

RTC. It was beautiful but I feel like it tried too hard to be too many things
Jay G
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

*I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

After running away from home, Bea runs into Lou. They set off on a road trip to West Texas. As the two get to know each other, emotional information is brought to light, Lou tries to be the mentor Bea never had.

This was... interesting. Half the time I was a bit confused on what was actually going on. At one
Tillie Walden just gets better and better with every book. She manages to combine painful explorations of emotion and identity with fantasy elements in a way that no one else does.
amanda (*´-`)
nothing wrong with this book, i just didn’t like it as much as i thought i would. i definitely enjoyed the second half more than the first half though (especially when it became more magical), and the art style was as beautiful as always!
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i honestly don't know how she does it. i felt every page

thank you tillie
Rod Brown
A road trip across Texas for two women, each running from her own trauma, ravels into a vague supernatural odyssey that I didn't entirely follow but could not stop reading or caring about.
Elizabeth A
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, graphix, kids-ya
This is the third graphic novel I've read by this author, and I think this is her best one yet. It's essentially a road trip novel, albeit a fairly short one with supernatural elements.

This is the story of two women, one older, one younger, who are both running away from home. They meet up and the developing relationship is a delight to watch unfold. Both women are queer, and I so liked that the story did not follow predictable plot lines. I was rather confused by the supernatural overlay, but
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i loved this graphic novel so much. tille walden literally can do no wrong; her art is amazing, the storytelling was so fluid and whimsical, and the character dialogue was so realistic and hilarious. i highly recommend every one of her books.
Mari Johnston
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
surreal and magical and beautiful and emotional. tillie walden does it AGAIN!
Marta (thecursedbooks)
The illustrations were so breath-taking!
raphael ✧
the art is GORGEOUS but honestly WHAT was that ending???? huh???????
Gretchen Alice
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous and strange. Are You Listening? offers a heartbreaking and otherworldly look at the effects of both grief and sexual assault. I’m so glad I live in a world where Tillie Walden comics exist.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastical and weird and dreamy and probably more intended to be felt than understood.
Anna Banana
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This graphic novel is sorta magical realism and talks about some important topics that I wasn't expecting. I liked how this was about two characters and we kind of see their character arcs start off as parallel to each other and then sort of intersect. The art was really pretty and there were certain scenes that I feel impacted me more because of the art and the art definitely helped infuse the eery and mysterious vibe throughout the entire book where you feel like something is not
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, lgbtq, books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tillie walden is a treasure. How does she do it.
Bea has run away. At a gas station, she runs into Lou, an older family friend, who is driving to West Texas to visit family. Bea says she is on her way to West Texas too, and Lou gives her a ride. Bea is angry and volatile, but luckily Lou is both understanding and no-nonsense. As the miles tick away, they rescue a lost cat, and determine to try to return her to her home. Mysterious men in a van start following them, and the town where the cat is from seems to have magical elements. as ...more
this was chaos in pictures. but also a fever dream. either way, the main characters were initially hard to distinguish (in my defense they both had short hair & wore read shirts) & it was overwrought (view spoiler) + fantastical (view spoiler). not my cup of tea.
This is an odd and thoughtful book about running away and where to run to. It starts out like a travel story and then moves into a dreamscape where things are not as they seem.

Lou is running from something as is Bea but both don’t want to discuss what that something is. And then there is diamond, the cat that the mysterious men want.

Lou is a mechanic, and loves her job, but she uses it as a means to an end, just wants a break.

Bea is rudderless.

I liked the feel of driving. At night. The enclosed
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Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a recent graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a comics school in Vermont. Over the course of her time at CCS she published three books with the London based Avery Hill Publishing. She has already received an Eisner Award nomination and two Ignatz Awards for her early works. When she is not drawing ...more