The Strange Ones by Jeremy Jusay is a standalone graphic novel. This review will be spoiler-free.
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Filled with visceral and engaging prose, this graphic novella offers a nostalgic look at two young misfits who manage to find belonging and heartbreak in each other’s friendship.
Anjeline walks with an open heart, but alone, through a world that consistently rejects her; Franck, another loner, never smiles. After the hand of fate literally shoves them together in the roiling mosh pit at a Midtown rock concert, they bond over the long commute back to Staten Island, and begin a friendship that makes the world a little better for them both. Together, this strange pair turns the sharp-edged, gloomy New York City into their playground…even as pain and heartbreak await around the corner. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Beautiful and heartbreaking. A story of acceptance and love that will leave you with a hole in your chest.
This graphic novel was slow to start for me. It felt very monotone and flat for me for the first quarter. However, once the story hooked me, I couldn’t put it down. I wish it had picked up the pace earlier, but I also think I understand why Jusay wrote it this way.
Anjeline and Franck are two of the strangest characters I’ve ever read. There is nothing “special” about them, but they are so unique. Most people feel unaccepted and lonely at some point in their lives. These two characters showed that no matter who you are, there is someone out there who will be there for you. If you just look up, you might find a new best friend.
This novel is set in New York City, but the New York that is this story is so different from the one that most books and movies show. Our main characters were explorers and watchers. They were always off on some adventure. I really enjoyed seeing the city through Anjeline’s point of view.
I think my biggest complaint is that it switched from past tense to present tense towards the end. I know that it makes sense in the story as to why this change occurred, but it was really hard for my brain to process. It pulled me out of the story and I wish it hadn’t.
I’m not going to lie. This book made me cry. I was not expecting the twists that happened and it ripped my heart out. However, I ended up really loving the fact that Jusay did that. It was the only way for the story to end. It flowed perfectly in with the world and characters that were shown to us.
Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys graphic novels.