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I received this book for free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. If you've read my other reviews, you'll know that if it's bad, I'll say so, regardless of how I received the book.Deogratias: A Tale of the Rwandan Genocide by Jean-Philippe Stassen
Published by First Second on November 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Net Galley
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I’m a little confused about Deogratias by Jean-Philippe Stassen. It could be because it’s a graphic novel and I don’t usually read graphic novels.
Deogratias is an award-winning story of a teenaged boy during the Rwandan genocide. While the backdrop is war, what stuck out to me was that it was a story of a boy in love with a girl, and race, and addiction. This is why the story has confused me, because the war appears to be an aside.
Before the graphic novel starts, we have a long back history on the Rwandan war, and the sides, and what caused it. It was interesting but I’m not sure it contributed to telling Deogratias’ story. Then we get into the story.
As I mentioned, Huti Deogratias has a crush on Tutsi Benigne. It’s kind of Romeo and Juliet, with Deogratias’ friends being against the match. Benigne’s parentage is also in question. After they kill Benigne for being Tutsi, Deogratias falls deeper into a madness where he believes he is a dog.
The story jumps back and forth from Deogratias’ happy pursuit of the girl, to war and tribal conflict making the match taboo. The illustrations are perfectly simple. That’s not a criticism; it’s graphic novels.
This is probably one of the shortest book reviews I’ve written, but making longer would waste your time. You may get something more from Deogratias than I did. Maybe if I read the novel instead of the graphic novel, but these are my honest thought.
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