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(Unlovable #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  627 ratings  ·  83 reviews
A soon-to-be teen classic: loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable details the sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and frequently hilarious exploits of underdog Tammy Pierce. This remarkably touching and funny graphic novel tells the first-person account of Tammy’s sophomore year in 1985, from the ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 23rd 2009 by Fantagraphics (first published December 15th 2008)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  627 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Peter Monn
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Soooooooo good. Reminded me so much of high school. Ready to start reading Volume 2. I’ll post a full review once I’ve completed all three on my booktube channel at ...more
Sep 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, humor, weird
Alleged to be a 1980's teenager's diary discovered in a bathroom, Unlovable is the story of Tammy's sophomore year in high school in all its awkward, cringe-worthy, uncensored glory.

I first saw Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable comics in the back of Bust magazine. Her portrayal of Tammy, a dorky, hormonal, neurotic and self-unaware teenager in the mid 1980's, is perfect. It's easy to find Tammy's self-described life all at once hilarious, painful and familiar, even if your own teen years bore litt
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, graphicnovel
Totally in the vein of the work of Lynda Barry or Ariel Schrag, or Girl Stories by Lauren R. Weinstein. There's some kind of overlay that the creators found the source material in a bathroom, but I didn't really follow that.

Honestly, I didn't find it particularly likeable or original. Probably because I've read so many other things on a similar tack. The "panels" in this case are virtually always on full (though small) pages, so you have to flip every two panels. Gets kind of exhausting. Kind o
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
i didn't know what to expect from this, but it was really great. so many parts that i found humorous were so bittersweet - tammy's experiences as a high schooler are so sad yet easy to relate to. john waters needs to direct a movie based on this immediately. ...more
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Like others have said, it's in the realm of Linda Berry's work, but has absolutely no heart. ...more
Bonnie G.
Jul 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Are you ready for kung fu squirrels, maxi pads, vaginas in a texas house, and the dreamiest teen obviously gay cause he likes the Smiths graphic novel ever?!? This is the ultimate "Found" experience-Ms. Watson found this old journal in a gas station and proceeded to be so inspired by her story she created a world of 1987 w/unfortunate belts, fashion, Anthrax shirts and the mall. While I had been hoping for more the stories she publishes in the back of BUST magazine, I did enjoy how each page tel ...more
Hannah Garden
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2021: This book is like a cold, fresh from the gas station bottle of Black Cherry New York Seltzer you drink by yourself on the beach because your best friend left with her boyfriend but who cares, you feel amazing, the sun is high and golden and the air is crisp and salty and you give your wet wedgie a good muscular pluck and gaze straight into the horizon like you're about to frikn teleport into it, guzzling. Which is to say: a masterpiece.

2019: Oh my god. This book caught me silentscreamlaugh
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Equal parts repulsive and relatable, sad and funny, this intimate teenage girl's diary is illustrated in a gorgeous outsider art sort of style that depicts the most granular and horrifying human details so simply, so clearly, and with something almost like affection, that you feel for the hapless Tammy even though she's like a gross hidden part of yourself you want to forget. This book bummed me out, made me super anxious with thoughts of high school, but also made me want to read subsequent vol ...more
Dov Zeller
I'm not sure what to say about this one. I found it kind of horrifying and depressing, but I guess there's a lot of truth in it? I feel a little like I felt after reading "Stuck in the Middle," which is, basically, wasn't it enough to live through this shit? Do I have to relive the hell of teenage-hood in this particular way? I guess I won't be reading the other two volumes. ...more
A.r. Daniell
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
So much fun to read. There are so many painful moments (of which I'm sure we've all experienced) that make this book great. ...more
J. Gonzalez- Blitz
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tammy Pierce is a teenager in the 1980s – she’s got the horrible sprayed-out-to-there poodle hair, the brightly colored makeup (think green mascara and eye shadow in every conceivable color), and the questionable fashion sense of the 80s teen. If you grew up in this era, you’ll recognize it immediately in this no-holds-barred graphic novel diary. Tammy is blissfully unaware (most of the time) of just how hideously revolting she really is – and Esther Pearl Watson depicts her in all of her gory g ...more
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Entertaining graphic novel reproducing a semester in the life of an unloved 80s high school student with no real friends and no self-esteem. The creepy The Quigmans-like art fits into Tammy's character perfectly. Not only would the character have drawn this way, she would have LOOKED this way.

Lest you read this thinking you will have sympathy with Tammy and how sad it is that she cannot see how life will be better and she will laugh at her former self, I am here to let you know that she is NOT
Nov 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, fiction
This was the weirdest book that I have read so far. I initially picked up this book because of its illustrations, the lopsided boob to be specific, and found myself reading the book in one sitting. I think the title suits the book very well.

The main character, Tammy, is your typical teenager who appears to be trying to finding her place in society. However, she drove me NUTS. Her idea of sexy were outfits that were sizes too small and make-up smeared all over her face. I thought it was funny wh
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lynda Barry fans
Shelves: humor, comics
This comic, supposedly based on a real diary found in a gas station bathroom, is about the life of teenage reject Tammy Pierce and it's pretty brutal. It's reminiscent of a 1980's version of Lynda Barry's Maybonne but with less of the sweet, life-affirming parts. Everyone, everyone is awful to cheesy, overweight, sometime juvenile delinquent Tammy except for one dude who is both inarguably the handsomest boy in school and probably the only truly decent person Tammy knows and of course Tammy is i ...more
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings about this one-- it's a graphic novel based on a 13-year-old Texan girl's diary found in a bathroom. It takes place in Wylie, which my school used to compete against in sports. I remember the Wylie girls basketball team being very intimidating. Anyway, this collection, like most 13-year-olds, was full of awkward and uncomfortable moments and was kind of gross in general. Lots of embarrassing bodily-function-related stuff. Maybe a little too realistic and hit too close to home for ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
I follow this artist on Instagram (her fine art is a little more interesting) so I was curious about her comic offering. I did not love it. I gave this two stars (meaning it was okay..) because I just didn't relate to this. The drawing style was a very crude Lynda Barry style (which I didn't mind) and the writing style (which I did mind) was like reading an insecure teenage girl's diary. Most of this fell flat for me probably cause I just didn't relate to it at all. Two Stars and I will skip the ...more
Chelsea Martinez
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly funny. I enjoyed very much the:
depiction of curled side bangs
summary of booger removal techniques
treatment of having crushes on people you start to realize are repellent

is it really a thing where frenemies in the 1980s would ask you for money to allow you to keep hanging out with them?
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, graphics
I liked that this book was pink and had glitter on the cover. It is funny in short bursts, but not as hilarious as thought it was going to be when I picked it up at the library. Also, it's about as much of a novel as a book of Garfield comic strips is. ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a comic adaptation of a teenage girl's diary that was found in a gas station bathroom. 'Nuff said. This is a single-serve book; it only took me an hour to read it. If you're wealthy, support an awesome business by purchasing this book. If you're not, borrow it from me. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-women, gn-bio
So much fun. I am not sure if what is told to us is true, that Watson based her story on a journal she found in a bathroom, but it's a good story, either way. Often hilarious, often painfully so. Painfully familiar. You knows these kids; maybe you've been one of them. ...more
Brittany Labinger
Feb 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, teen
This had promise but it felt insulting. There were a few frames I liked, but it was painful to read, like me and the author were supposed to be making fun of the obliviousness of the character instead of feeling sad for her.
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was hilarious and kind of really great.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels, funny
Wow! What a book.

This graphic novel based on a 1980s teen's diary that the author found in a gas station bathroom out West, and I can vouch for the fact that it seems VERY authentic as the unvarnished, unfortunate truths of adolescence are revealed to a (no longer) private diary.

The book chronicles Tammy's sophomore year of high school, where she struggles with the many excruciating moments of teenage existence, including no-good frenemies, hateful boys that she nevertheless loves, weight issu
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I related to Tammy Pierce in moments like when she sneaks out of her bedroom window and feels this thrill, looking into the living room window, just knowing that her parents, who are asleep in front of the tv, might just open their eyes and look directly at her. She stays out there for 15 whole minutes before slipping back into her room, and in this full-square-page panel, she's holding her teddy bear and she's like, I'll never forget this night! LOL

I also laughed out loud at the part when her "
Amy Holland
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, comix
The drawings in this book reminded me of Napoleon Dynamite's drawings. I liked how the illustrator was able to convey a range of emotions with this crude style, with hilarious results. I also liked how the text of the book was based on a found diary - awesome! I wasn't sure how to feel about Tammy overall, though. People were so horrible to her, but she didn't have any redeeming qualities to inspire a sense of sympathy in the reader. Maybe Tammy is supposed to represent the parts of everybody th ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
First of all, I can't believe I even read this book! If you look at my list, there are some graphic novels, but most of the books I read are very serious.... Guess I really needed a change!

I found myself both laughing out loud and thinking, this is really stupid. There is some of both in this book. I loved the drawing, a rather unique style. I really had to laugh at the parts where the protagonist is wearing something really short and has not shaved her legs above the knees. You see black hairs
MacKenzie Wilson
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Those who grew up in the '80s will definitely appreciate this. Honestly though, each of us, in some way, experiences the horrors of growing up in school. Poor Tammy Pierce was so misunderstood. She just wanted to be liked ... and we can all identify with that.

There's a page in the book featuring Tammy's mix tape; I laughed out loud because I knew every single song included by artists like Def Leppard, Breathe, Bobby Brown, etc ... oh the '80s. Don't deny it, they were a lot of fun ;)
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A reasonably quick read. A lot of what I like about the book is the package--it's small, it's thick, and it's glittery, much as you imagine the protagonist to be. Apparently it is based on a diary found while on a road trip, and for something that fits that description, it is actually pretty compelling. I found myself thinking by the time I was done, "I wonder what ever happened to the characters from this..." Anyway, very enjoyable, very, dare I say, lovable. Worth checkin' out. ...more
Emilia P
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Oh hey, do I want to read Lynda Barry book? Then why am I reading this? Ugly-adorable, awkward characters with semi-developed story? I would prefer her. However, the single panel layout of the pages and some of the weird digressions, continued jokes, potty humor, and just middle schoolyness of this book grew on me, so I can't say I didn't enjoy parts of it. Ten minutes on a one-page comic by her would be much preferable however.

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