Ariel Schrag, Author . Touchstone $14 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5235-2

A memoir made while Schrag was still in high school, Potential is an honest, rambling, obsessive narrative of high school angst, with a potential of its own peeking through. The story starts as Schrag comes to terms with the fact that she “only likes girls,” and then moves into her first failed foray at a relationship, the loss of her virginity and the ups and downs of her first serious lesbian relationship. The plot is bumpy; some segments are awkwardly inserted and lack significant resolution, such as the section focusing on Schrag’s attempt to lose her virginity to a guy friend. While an important episode of her adolescence, the segment seems isolated within the larger narrative of Schrag’s relationship with her girlfriend, Sally, which is well developed and poignant. The art is very impressive for a comic made by an artist still in high school and matures over the course of the book. The emotional depth of the characters is depicted through vivid and fluid expressions, and Schrag uses different styles to illustrate varying states of consciousness. Schrag’s later works are more mature and better formed, but this coming-of-age story amply displays the emotional uncertainty of adolescence. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 88 pages - 978-0-943151-04-5
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