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Crushing
Cover of Crushing
Crushing
Borrow
Life is full of connections – if you know how to make them. Crushing follows two people — one determined and a bit awkward, the other unsure where to begin — longing to find out where they belong. Their intersecting and overlapping journeys reveal hidden connections and the unpredictable and unexpected ways we may find each other.   
  
Achingly beautiful, quietly defiant, and full of subtle wit and wisdom, Crushing is a story told in silence; a story without words but bursting with life and color.   
  
This stunning debut graphic novel from Sophie Burrows is a timely look at life in an age of distance and a story of love and understanding — a perfect book to read and to share.
Life is full of connections – if you know how to make them. Crushing follows two people — one determined and a bit awkward, the other unsure where to begin — longing to find out where they belong. Their intersecting and overlapping journeys reveal hidden connections and the unpredictable and unexpected ways we may find each other.   
  
Achingly beautiful, quietly defiant, and full of subtle wit and wisdom, Crushing is a story told in silence; a story without words but bursting with life and color.   
  
This stunning debut graphic novel from Sophie Burrows is a timely look at life in an age of distance and a story of love and understanding — a perfect book to read and to share.
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About the Author-
  • Sophie Burrows an illustrator and author based in London. She earned her MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, where she spent time nurturing a love for comics and writing and developing her own children’s books. Besides drawing, she loves live music, trashy television, cooking, and spending time outdoors. Her first picture book, Ig and Og and the Other Frog, was published in 2020.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2021
    This quiet, wordless book is artist and author Burrows' graphic-novel debut. A young woman, pale and rosy-cheeked with a straight black bob, lives alone in London--except for her cat--surrounded by lovers on Hampstead Heath and crowds on the Tube. One night she runs down to the local kebab and pizza shop in her pajamas and encounters a young man, pale and freckled with floppy red hair, also wearing pajamas. Unfortunately, they don't notice each other surreptitiously noticing each other and head their separate ways, the young man returning to his flat--empty except for his dog and the glare of his laptop screen. The young woman tries a dating app, and a man sends her unsolicited, intimate selfies; the young man gets spattered in bird poop while working a temp job dressed as an avocado. The story conveys life as a series of small indignities, slight misses, and minor connections but ends on a hopeful note. The accomplished pencil drawings with red highlights are eloquent and emotive, drawing readers in, conveying the personalities of the characters, and capturing the poignancy, dignity, drama, and humor of the everyday. The backmatter includes mental health organizations and crisis lines and a note from Burrows referencing inspiration from missed connections columns and pandemic isolation. Evocatively sketches a fine line between someday and happily-ever-after. (Graphic fiction. 15-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 13, 2021
    Destiny drives this lonely hearts tale, a charming graphic novel debut about yearning and missed connections between two Londoners. Nearly wordless except for ambient chatter and urban signage, Burrows’s pencil panels, in hues of sea green and gray illuminated with scarlet, picture two endearingly slouchy pale-skinned singletons who pass like clumsy ships in the night. A young woman with straight black hair dodges sexy underwear ads on the Tube and aims a hopeful, unrequited grin at a cute commuter who pointedly ducks his head behind a newspaper. Facing a barren fridge at home, she orders takeout at a kebab shop, where she encounters (and ignores) a quiet pajama-clad guy with a mop of red hair, whose story the narrative picks up as he takes a soul-crushing part-time gig and contemplates his isolation over a pint at a pub. The characters’ parallel lives overlap, as when the dejected fellow crashes his bike in a traffic jam, and an ambulance hurtles past the momentarily optimistic heroine, en route to a concert alone.
    The “crushing” of the title alludes to both heaviness and new love, with an emphasis on the former, in a narrative that recommends optimism and a wry sense of humor while acknowledging the ubiquity of loneliness. Ages 16–up. (Jan.)

  • Booklist

    January 1, 2022
    Grades 10-12 *Starred Review* From just the cover, the color red immediately suggests a strangers-to-not narrative; that floating heart in the title underscores what's to come. But knowing what happens doesn't diminish in any way Burrows' poignant, timely, mostly wordless graphic debut. Set in London, where Burrows also lives, the story opens with a pastoral park scene that zooms in a couple pages later onto a young woman, dressed in a red coat and sitting on a bench eating a sandwich. A bird visits, but its rejection of her bread crust emphasizes the title of the magazine tucked next to her--"LOSS," it seems to read, until the next page reveals the full cover as an issue of GLOSS, advertising "Sex" and "Hunks off the telly." Watch for it: Burrows exhibits that deft cleverness throughout. Alas, the woman's journey home continues to bombard her with reminders of all the intimacies lacking in her own life. Her disturbing attempts at connections on the Tube, on dating apps, and at an outdoor class further isolate. Meanwhile, another single soul--a young man she's already met, though she doesn't yet realize it--is also navigating the city solo. Burrows' pencil drawings in mostly grays-to-blues enhanced with glowing reds produce a visually and emotionally nourishing feast. Although marketed for young adults by the publisher, Burrows' memorable creation should resonate with singles of any age in search of connection.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 28, 2022

    Gr 9 Up-Two unnamed protagonists wade through feelings of isolation in this nearly wordless graphic novel. The female lead drifts through her community, seeking connection in crowds. She sees love in the couples, families, and friendships around her, but she feels alienated. Readers sense her despair as she unsuccessfully slogs through dating app profiles by the dumpster at her unfulfilling job. Meanwhile, the male protagonist is seeing the negative in the world around him: stepping in a fresh vomit pile from a drunken bachelorette, losing the last package of toilet paper to a taller man who steps in and grabs it first, and temping in a marketing job where he's forced to wear a humiliating avocado costume. Both characters exist in each other's orbits, and readers will find themselves noticing all their missed connections and wishing for them to have the meet-cute they both deserve. Neither is ready for that until they hit their separate breaking points and start to see the good in the world again. The tonally gray palette includes bright pops of red that symbolize both positive and negative connections. Both protagonists are white. VERDICT Though this one may find a better home in the adult graphic novel section, it's nevertheless a lovely, elegant read. Artfully rendered and universal in its appeal, it's ideal for introspective teens and new adults anxiously navigating the possibilities of love and forging a life alone, experiencing the special breed of loneliness that comes with being on your own for the first time.-Abby Bussen

    Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Crushing
Crushing
Sophie Burrows
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