‘Lucky Penny’ is the kind of book you’ll love as you read, but forget about it after a few days. And that’s absolutely fine. Created by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, this graphic novel is cute, funny and entertaining. It helps readers escape into the world of the not-so-lucky Penny; for a while.
I love how the story begins with conflict in the very first page – Penny the protagonist is fired from her job. She also loses her apartment and is close to broke. Her best-friend helps her move her stuff to a little rented storage space, and Penny has the bright idea of moving into the place herself when she sees it. And yes, it’s illegal. But cheap. What follows next is Penny’s attempt at getting her life together, or not, as she lives in the garage-like space, with no bathroom. How she manages her ill-fortune forms the rest of the novel.
Anybody who’s experienced days where nothing seems to go right, will completely relate to the ditzy mess Penny is. She is a total dork who survives by getting around on her cycle, eating ready-to-make ramen and reading smutty novels before falling asleep. The story is a weird mix of childish innocence and adult comedy. Some things don’t even make sense, like why a bunch of boys are constantly trying to freak our poor Penny out or why a laundromat is supervised by a little kid. But all these plot-holes don’t even matter, because ‘Lucky Penny’ is a fun tale that keeps you turning pages and before you know it – it’s already over!
The art is adorable, and while it’s only in black-white-grey tones, the panels are joyous and feel bright. Penny’s romance with a nervous but cute nerd Walter was realistic, with the kind of awkwardness that comes with going out with someone for the first time. The climax like the rest of the story was packed with a series of hilarious/unfortunate events, wrapping up with a tone of hope & happiness. Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota make a fun team on paper. It’s a 4/5 from me.
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