"i make lists about everything.
some of them are really old, some are new, some i'll make up as we go"
Title: Little Fish: A Memoir From A Different Kind of Year
Author: Ramsey Beyer
Amount of Pages: 272
Publisher: Houghton Miffin Harcourt
Release Date: September 2013
Geared Towards: Teens (Ages 12+)
From: Zest Books (Review Copy)
Extra Notes: This is an illustrated novel
I was not paid for this review
Summary (From Front Flap): Ramsey Beyer was a teenager from a small town in Michigan, looking forward to her first year living in a city far away from home. She chronicled that year in a series of zines featuring personalized lists (such as "things I can't wait for" and "top 10 worst sounds") alongside comic illustrations. Through her blog, Ramsey also reflected on her struggles with loneliness, friendship, and potential romance. Ten years later, Little Fish weaves all of these materials into a poignant, beautifully illustrated, and deeply reflective graphic memoir detailing her transformation from an eighteen-year-old small-town teenager to an independent, city-dwelling college art student. The blending of new artwork with old lists and new reflections on past events allows us to see Ramsey's formative year with the excitement of a teenager and the wisdom of an adult.
Wdebo's Review: Most of the books I review are full length novels, so reviewing Little Fish is a little bit difficult because this is a very interestingly organized book.
As someone who is about to become a college junior, I have been in undergrad long enough to have had time to mull over my freshman experience, but I have only been in this institution for short enough that I can clearly remember my thoughts and feelings when I first came to this school.
The entire work was organized through comic, list and doodle form. It was a great way to explore the journey of Ramsey through her first year in art college. The main idea to take from the book is not the minute details of Ramsey's journey but the patterns and the pathways that she explored. All of our lives, though greatly different, have many similarities, including our explorations of new milestones. College is a life-changing experience that a good percentage of the world's population has the privilege of experiencing. However, the change from home life to college life is a great shock and as exciting as it is frightening. Reading this story really allowed me to reminisce on my experience as a freshman undergrad as I tried to navigate through campus, trying to meet new people and find a little section of campus that I felt like I could blend in with and call my own.
However, since the story goes by pretty fast, I am not entirely sure it's one of those books you should have on your shelf, I believe many people should read it, but maybe consume a library copy of then novel instead.
I recommend this story for anyone who is currently going through a big change, be it going to college or starting at a new job, etc. We go through so many changes in life and it may be frightening but everything will always work out in the end and the journey is a wonderful memory to keep with us as we continue through life.
Cafe Cover Chit Chat: I like the cover, it is a good symbolism of what Ramsey went through. She started out in a small town and migrated to a big city for college. (And that is also shown through the fishbowl she is holding in her arms).