Good As Lily by Derek Kirk Kim & Jesse Hamm
Remember how we had our laundry list of things for Asian American books? Well Derek Kirk Kim has successfully fulfilled 4 out of 5 of my requests in Good As Lily. To refresh our collective memory of what I was asking for here it is, again
Gayle would like a protagonist:
1. Who uses cultural references without qualifying them;
2. Who feels comfortable in his/her skin, hair, eyes;
3. Who is not ashamed of his/her parents;
4. Has real character flaws and not only those of stereotypes;
5. Is a librarian or aspires to be a librarian.
Granted #5 is probably a long shot, I’m impressed that DKK has effectively written a story that fulfills the rest of my wish list. Props to Jesse Hamm for the great artwork too. I’m going to have to lift my self imposed ban on DC to purchase Good As Lily for the library when it comes out in August.
The basic storyline follows our protagonist Grace Kwon as she celebrates her pivotal 18th birthday. She buys a pinata from a mysterious ice cream vendor at the park and is disappointed to find out that the pinata has no candy inside of it. She goes home only to realize that she has forgotten one of her birthday presents at the park. Grace goes back to the park and finds more than what she is looking for. She finds a 6 year old, a 29 year old, and a 80 year old all who go by the name Grace Kwon. The Graces all come to the realization that they are one and the same person. This cosmic sick joke plays itself out as the Graces make peace with their past experiences and regrets. Why is this graphic novel entitled Good As Lily instead of Revenge of the Grace Kwons? Read it to find out!
I’m passing the ARC to Jolene so she can weigh in on my review.