A Catalog of Encounters: MariNaomi’s Graphic Novel

*big sigh* Monday begins.

But my head is still back relaxing in my computer-free weekend in Sequim, Washington.

In addition to celebrating (belatedly) the birthday of a family member, I caught up on some reading.

Right before driving out on Friday night, I pulled from my “almost overdue” pile of library books  MariNaomi’s Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume Ages O to 22. I’ve been meaning to get to it for weeks and was excited to begin this girl story of sexual coming-of-age.

The first part flew by. MariNaomi’s stark black-and-white drawings perfectly illustrate her story. And the early details about main character Mari promise a unique and often humorous read.

But near the middle, the story lags. The sex acts get more graphic, but the narrative voice fails to progress. It begins to read like a (dirty) laundry list of exploits.

Though Mari starts out as an interesting character, she flattens over time, losing dimension as she has page after page of various encounters with new boys and men.

I get this is a sort of confessional. Like a sex diary. But I still expected a bit more story arc, and a more compelling narrative.

I wanted so bad to like this novel. In fact, I wanted to LOVE it. The way I loved Keshni Kashyap’s Tina’s Mouth.

Today I returned the book (which actually WAS overdue).

I finished reading it only yesterday, but I can’t remember much beyond Mari’s horribly destructive open relationship with–hmmm, was his name Francois? Frances?–and the cool drawings of Mari tripping out.

Not even sure I would have remembered the title had I not taken that picture. Bummer.

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