Sixteen-year-old Rachel lives a mundane grey life in England until an opportunity to travel to Greece for the summer comes her way, she is invited by a couple who used to be their parents’ friend to spend her break with them. Written by Andi Watson and illustrated by Simon Gane, the graphic novel ‘Sunburn’ is a fleeting quick holiday romance that will get over before you even realize it.
Amid her battered bleak English suburban life, Rachel doesn’t realize just how exciting the beautiful blues of the Greek shores could be. ‘Sunburn’ immediately reminded me of the French classic ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ by Francoise Sagan, both the tales share some similarities, although Sagan’s teen protagonist is a lot more independent, adventurous and under the care of her father through the course of the story; while Rachel tastes her first slice of freedom with a stranger couple she barely remembers.
The artwork by Simon Gane breathes warm life into the graphic novel and is the best bit about it. All its pages are washed in different shades of blues, almost always pleasant, holding the promise of both love and heartbreak simultaneously. The story on the other hand is lack-luster, Watson writes in a way that constantly makes the reader anticipate something terrible, tragic or shocking, but nothing really ever happens. There is a little twist in the tale, but it’s foreshadowed well enough to not blindside the reader.
Pick the novel up if you are looking for a light vacation read with some gorgeous nostalgic art work.
It’s a 3.5/5 from me.
Do check out our Podcast show by the same name on YouTube.
Ep 15 – Banned & Censored Graphic Novels – What’s The Fuss About ?