cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 27

The Undertaking of Lily ChenThe Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, maybe a 2.5 but I have no clue what art people were looking at that was so 'beautiful.' I read a ton of graphic novels and manga yearly. This was easily some of the ugliest art I've seen in ages. It looked like I drew it and I can't draw. I obviously missed whatever the artist/author was aiming for with this but there are literally no anatomical correctness to any of it and for me most of it evoked nothing.

I really wanted to like this story more than I did. It's a fascinating concept, based on the idea of a ghost bride in China. The story is set in rural China where Deshi's brother, Wei, has wormed his way onto a military base where Deshi works, they fight and Wei dies, unmarried. The idea of the ghost bride is that men need a bride to be with them in the afterlife. Deshi's parents blame him, wish it was he who was gone and make him go find a bride for his brother.

Deshi hires someone to help him but the corpses they've dug up are too old, too gross for Deshi to take home to his parents. But there is a shadowy side to the ghost bride market, i.e. killing to get a bride. Deshi crosses paths with young, pretty, Lily Chen. She wants out of her rural village because her overbearing father is thinking of marrying her off to their landlord in order to keep his farm.

When she runs off with Deshi, thinking he'll help her get to Beijing, she doesn't realize that Deshi is planning to kill her. Deshi's plans for this keep going awry and before long he no longer wants her for his brother. Lily never shuts up for ten seconds in all of this and to make matters worse, her father is after them with the intent to bring her home.

The idea is interesting but sadly to me the characters were not. Abrasive characters, horrible art, I'm glad I got this from the library but truth be told, I would never have bought this. Art sells a graphic novel for me. I would have taken one look and put this back on the shelf if I didn't get it from the library. Good idea for a story that just didn't work for me for whatever reason.

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Tags: graphic novel

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