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Life. Volume 1
Suenobu, Keiko
Adult Fiction SUENOBU

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Ayumu is faced with common high school problems: grades, fighting with friends and a general feeling of isolation. Her method of dealing with the trials of adolescence, however, is decidedly more distressing. Ayumu is a cutter, one of an increasing number of teenage compulsive self-mutilators. Tortured by a falling-out with her best friend and dealing with a competitive new school, Ayumu retreats into the cold comforts of self-imposed social exile and self-inflicted injury. Matters are further complicated when Ayumu's manic and boundlessly irritating new friend, Manami, attempts suicide after a difficult breakup. The artwork-especially the inventive page layout-adds a much-needed frisson. Frames and panels merge, fracture and dissolve, reflecting alternating extremes of tranquility and anguish. The cutting scenes are especially powerful, eschewing dialogue in favor of a dreamlike stillness in which Ayumu's chosen implement, a common box cutter, takes on the status of a magical totem. These frames, along with a genuinely haunting, semi-cliffhanger ending, more than make up for the characters' stilted language. The book concludes with a brief fact page written by a clinical psychologist that includes how to deal with cutting in real life. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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