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Are You Listening?

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,681 ratings  ·  512 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by First Second
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,681 ratings  ·  512 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
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coming-soon-19
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
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels

“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.

Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
RTC. It was beautiful but I feel like it tried too hard to be too many things
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, graphic, realism
While they were all well executed, I didn't feel that the separate strands (the two travelers fleeing their individual woes; the cat; the (view spoiler) pursuers) meshed very well. The shift from magical realism to surrealism and back was a bit odd.

This might work better for a reader who has any associations with West Texas or is familiar with the landscape, but I have nothing beside a couple old country songs that make me think I never want to
Jay G
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Favourites - Tillie Walden is just amazing
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
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!
Rod Brown
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
ashley c
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Are You Listening is a graphic novel about a magic, surreal road trip with two LGBTQIA characters. Cushioned against a backdrop of winding roads is the budding friendship between Lou and Bea, an adult woman and a young teen, both running away from past trauma of their own. Fresh from their own wounds, Lou and Bea's interactions show the tenderness that trauma leaves you with, and how it feels like to hold it, give it space, and share that with someone who cares.

I love the symbolism of the
Eva B.
I really loved Lou and the visuals of this book, and even though I understand that Bea is dealing with some horrible things, her treatment of Lou still made me angry at times.
Elizabeth A
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphix, kids-ya, 2019
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
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
i honestly don't know how she does it. i felt every page

thank you tillie
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
surreal and magical and beautiful and emotional. tillie walden does it AGAIN!
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, comics, books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mari Johnston
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
fantastical and weird and dreamy and probably more intended to be felt than understood.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I need to get this off my brain, it is so difficult to purchase Tillie Walden's GNs. Are You Listening is the only one available in Google Play Store and the rest, I have to purchase the physical copy.

Are You Listening is my first read by Walden, two broken women on a journey to find peace. One mourning over the death of a loved one and the other is escaping from Satan. Mission accomplished? I am not sure but they are in a better place than before.

This is not an easy read, it's quite depressing
Marta (thecursedbooks)
The illustrations were so breath-taking!
Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
Wow wow wow. This beautifully crafted graphic novel is filled with emotion and is ultimately about learning how to move passed trauma and grief. I was fully consumed by the story, and love Tillie Walden more with each book that I read.
raphael ✧
the art is GORGEOUS but honestly WHAT was that ending???? huh???????
Gretchen Alice
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
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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