Sunday, November 20, 2011

Level Up - Review

YANG EXPLORES THE GAME OF LIFE


As a person who remembers the original Nintendo Game Boy, I was immediately attracted to Level Up and it's cover design. I was delighted to find out that the story inside by Gene Luen Yang was just as wonderful. The story revolves around Dennis, a soon-to-be college dropout who would rather play video games than study. After getting kicked out of school for his grades, Dennis finds some unusual small floating friends who insist that they are there to help him achieve his destiny of going to medical school. Things get more complicated as Dennis starts to question whether or not something is his destiny just because four floating angels told him so.

This was a very heartfelt story about doing what you love because nothing else will make you happier. The story took some turns I didn't expect, and for a slice of life graphic novel that means a lot. The artwork is very simple, but it's also bright and engaging. It's refreshing to see comics that aren't drawn with superheroes hulking out on steroids and girls wearing next to nothing. Its cartoon nature allowed it to showcase emotion and let the reader focus on the story more than tiny details in the artwork.

The characters were thought-out, the story moved at a wonderful pace, and at the end I felt like I had learned something about going to college and deciding what you'd like to do with your life. I'm going to give this book a 4.5/5 and I highly recommend it for anyone that's uncertain about where they should be going in life. And with America the way it is now, it's definitely a little bit of wisdom that everyone could use.

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