Page by Paige

Page by PaigeSummary: Paige Turner has just moved to New York with her family, and she’s having some trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries to make sense of her new life, including trying out her secret identity: artist. As she makes friends and starts to explore the city, she slowly brings her secret identity out into the open, a process that is equal parts terrifying and rewarding.

Laura Lee Gulledge crafts stories and panels with images that are thought-provoking, funny, and emotionally resonant. Teens struggling to find their place can see themselves in Paige’s honest, heartfelt story.

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Page by Paige, by Laura Lee Gulledge 7.0

‘Page by Paige, is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel by Laura Lee Gulledge. It tells the story of an introverted young artist relocating with her parents from Virginia to New York City. It addresses her feelings as she tries to adapt to a new environment and new school.

It’s a fairly introspective work, with Paige Turner (!) initially struggling to cope and eventually deciding to channel her thoughts into a sort of visual journal. ‘Page by Paige’ is a combination of these artsy diary entries and the more traditional narrative of a standard graphic novel.

Personally, it was a challenge for me to muster up enough interest to turn the page, and the only reason I got as far as I did was because I was in a waiting room with nothing else to do. After having plodded through a certain amount of it, I decided that I might as well complete it.

Having said this, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the book: the story and character development are interesting and realistic, the artwork is relatively pleasing and highly creative. But there was something about the style that actually put me off in some discreet fashion.

There was just something sort of quaint about the visual metaphors that littered the book, as Page tried to express herself. I understand that the character is in high school, and thus hasn’t developed a more sophisticated style, but a lot of it seemed far too literal, too obvious to me.

And yet, the amount of creativity injected in the book deserves praise; Gulledge played around with the format a fair bit, forcing her readers to read the tome at different angle and such. Granted, this made it less intuitive at times, and this could be tedious, but I give her props for the effort.

Ultimately, I wasn’t exactly bowled over by ‘Page by Paige’, but it did put Gulledge on my radar. I figure that, if she can come up with a debut as good as this one, she will become a fine visual storyteller over time. I look forward to seeing what else she has in store for us.

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