Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk

Ivy
by Sarah Oleksyk
Oni Press, 2011

Another story about a troubled seventeen-year-old, but told with frankness and honesty. Although there’s little doubt where the story will go, the characters are realistic enough for it to be a satisfying read.

The heroine Ivy is particularly well-rounded, a jerk to her friends (and oblivious to their own, more serious, problems) and with anger issues associated with her mother’s attempts to get her into business school instead of making the same mistakes her absent father did – that is, to try and lead the life of an artist and have “to struggle for the things [she] wants in life”.

While attending a national art school portfolio day in Boston (doesn’t that sound nice?) she meets the ADD-afflicted Josh, who seems like an escape from her troubles in Port Chase, and it takes her the rest of the book to discover that this may not be so.

The artwork is black and white with grey shading, and at times surprisingly explicit considering the characters are technically underage, although it would be disingenuous to pretend it’s nothing that doesn’t happen to the average seventeen-year-old.

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