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From her father and mother's interracial marriage to her own "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the '80s and '90s. Through deft storytelling and charming illustration, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through ...
From her father and mother's interracial marriage to her own "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the '80s and '90s. Through deft storytelling and charming illustration, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through heartbreak and bedroom experimentation, as she grows from misfit teen to young woman.
Girlish innocence and disarming candor mark a graphic memoir that often reads like an illustrated diary.
Whether she's writing about threesomes, foursomes or the possibility of moresomes, the San Francisco–based cartoonist MariNaomi exudes a sweetness undefiled by experience. She begins before her birth, with the courtship of her father, an Army officer teaching English in Japan, and his teenage pupil, nine years younger. The author dedicates the book to her parents, "who I pray will still speak to me after they read [it]," and then proceeds to detail her encounters, year-by-year, with a variety of boys and an occasional girl. She begins with a chapter titled "The most beautiful penis I've ever seen," describing her sexual awakening in an episode that others might consider pedophilia. The story introduces the image of the butterfly, through which stages of development the book progresses. The vast majority of her encounters take no more than one page, six panels at most, making the longer episodes seem all the more ambitious and creatively audacious. One of them recounts her loss of virginity at age 14 ("Even though it got better, I was glad when it was over"), and another vividly describes her maiden voyage on LSD. As she matures, MariNaomi often presents herself as clueless about what she was doing, why and with whom, whether she was the seducer or the one being seduced. She seemed to fall into sex with boys who left her shortly after, and/or with whom she had nothing in common, and/or who were originally more attracted to one of her girlfriends. Eventually, she began to find some of her girlfriends more attractive than the boys with whom she continued to involve herself.
Though there are some dark interludes—her most serious boyfriend ends up in prison; she learns of the death of another years after their troubled relationship—this is ultimately a celebration of a young girl's life, from larva to wings.
Posted August 1, 2011
It is not often that when you read a book, you go out and buy another copy for your best friend. After reading MariNaomi's graphic novel, Kiss &Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, that is what I did.
The narrative and illustrations capture the roller coaster of youth. Every delightful, funny, sad, poignant and harrowing moment brings back memories. I wonder what happened to..
Quote from MariNaomi's epilogue in Kiss & Tell "It took me a long time before I got to know myself by myself". I'm so glad she did. She produced a book that you cannot put down.
Posted July 22, 2011
My favorite part about this book has to be the artwork. The storyline was great as well, it depicted the highs and lows of growing up and discovering pieces of yourself and what you want in a partner both intimately and in a relationship. On top of that, it was just down right funny. She didn't hide anything and exposed herself to the world in such a light manner that made me laugh even the embarrasing stuff most people prefer to forget. I should also mention that don't be put off by the title, guys will definately in enjoy this book as well. Her sense of humor is refreshing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 7, 2011
In reading this book, I recalled many of my own adolescent dating experiences that I've (purposefully) buried deep into my skeleton closet. These were events and feelings I haven't thought about in over 30 years! Ok, MariNaomi went way farther down a seedier path than I ever did, but that's the guilty pleasure part! Just when you think you've heard it all or seen it all, MariNaomi pushed that envelope a little further...and in some cases, A LOT FURTHER! It made my, 50 year old, self blush!
This book is definitely funny and insightful...in a mature way. Not for kids!