hey friends! today i have the super cool honor of talking about ALWAYS HUMAN by ari north, a sapphic graphic novel!! i’ll offer a non-spoiler review.
rating: 5/5 stars
rep: sapphic main characters, disabled main characters, person of color main character, people of color side characters, asexual side character
thoughts: i read an advanced review copy, so the artwork was in black and white for me (it’s in color in the final version), but even though i didn’t see the colors, i could tell just how skilled the artist is! each page was vivid and pulled me into the science-fiction world the author created.
i also loved the found family, because that is something i always look for in queer stories.
i think the technology was on point and completely believable. the tech was immersed into the world seamlessly and added to the believability.
the love interest, austen, is disabled, and i believe the author handled this so so well. austen called out sunati, the main character, when she was starting to believe that austen was “fearless” for living without mods, but austen pointed out that she doesn’t because she literally can’t and sunati praising her felt borderline fetish-y.
lastly, i so loved how this world included changing ones looks but the people of color characters never changed their skin color. this is so important, because this kind of world-building could’ve quickly went left re:racism, but the author celebrated the beauty of their characters’ skin colors, and simultaneously allow them to explore how they present themselves to the world.
all in all, i recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a book with:
- sapphic romance!
- science fiction with impressive world-building!
- disabled main character!
- person of color main character!
- people of color side characters!
- found family!
- vivid artwork!
thank you so much to Hear Our Voices and the publisher for my ARC copy and for letting me on the blog tour. click here for the rest of the tour schedule.
continue reading for more information provided by the publisher:
A new graphic novel series written and illustrated by Ari North
In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications — from different colored hair and eyes, to highly-technological implants that change the way they function in the world. But some people aren’t so lucky, plagued with a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these modifications. Maintaining a “natural” appearance, these social outcasts must rely on cosmetics hair dye in an attempt to fit in.
Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain… always human.
First serialized on the popular app and website WebToon, Always Human ran from 2015-2017 and amassed over 76,000 unique subscribers during its run. Today, as an archived piece on the site, the title has always over 400,000 unique viewers. Reformatted for a print edition in sponsorship with GLAAD, this beautifully-drawn, soft sci-fi, queer graphic novel will available wherever books are sold in both paperback and hardcover formats.
ALWAYS HUMAN: SEASON 1
Publisher: Yellow Jacket
Number of Pages: 256
On-Sale Date: May 19, 2020
Ari North is a queer cartoonist who believes an entertaining story should also be full of diversity and inclusion. As a writer, an artist, and a musician, she wrote, drew, and composed the music for Always Human, a complete romance/sci-fi webcomic about two queer girls navigating maturity and finding happiness. She’s currently working on a second webcomic, Aerial Magic, which is about the everyday lives of the witches who work at a broomstick repair shop. She lives in Australia with her husband.
About Little Bee Books: Little Bee Books is a children’s book publisher dedicated to making high-quality, creative, and fun books for busy little bees ages 0 through 14. Through three imprints dedicated to children’s, middle grade and licensed titles, Little Bee Books offers an inspired selection of early learning concept books, board books, novelty books, activity books, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, gift sets, and more. For more information, please visit littlebeebooks.com.
About Yellow Jacket: Yellow Jacket, an imprint of Little Bee Books, is a middle grade publisher of series and standalone titles for ages 8 through 14, covering an array of genres including humor, historical fiction, magical realism, coming-of-age stories, graphic novels, and much more. For more information please visit yellowjacketreads.com.
FOR PRESS INQUIRIES
Paul Crichton, Publicity Manager
+1 (212) 321-0359