Seven Places Without You
Written by Juan Berrio
Translated by Fiona Marshall
Format: Graphic Novel (ebook)
Length: 120 pages
Published: January 2019 (first published in 2018 in Spanish)
This story is written in first person through the eyes of Elena. She has been living with her partner Jorge, who has been spending less and less time at home, essentially ignoring Elena. They either live with his parents, or Jorge’s mother lives with them. I can’t remember, and it’s probably not really a major point of the story. Although she is probably my favourite character.
I don’t want to say too much about the story. It’s not very long, but the story is rich in emotion. This is part of the blurb on goodreads, and explains it better than I can.
“Seven Places Without You” is the story of a young couple’s first experience of a relationship on the rocks; a story that allows time to elapse and silences to lengthen, focusing more on how events develop than on the events themselves.
What do I think about this book? Let me start with the graphics. It’s all well drawn, and where it needs to be, really empty. I think the colours really amplify the tone of the book, like it really pulled me down. The washed out, drab colours. It’s like all the colours of the world have been washed away and Elena is left to paint anew. You can see it by looking at the cover, but I found the image below on Goodreads, and it might explain what I mean. I just felt sorry for this character. Look at that first image, don’t you just want to pat her back and tell her that everything will get better? The brightness of the green in her shirt is about as happy as you can get while reading Elena’s journey. Nobody wants the butterflies of a new relationship to wear off, but they have and Elena is experiencing all these places that she has shared with Jorge, but now on her own.
How I am explaining it, probably isn’t very encouraging to put this on your TBR. But don’t get me wrong. I liked reading this book. You can read it in one sitting. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the story… until the end. I just wish she had made her move and not looked back. You’ll have to read it, and when you do, come back and then we can talk. No spoilers here!
3 out of 5 for me. But it could be a 5 star for you. or it could be a 1 star. You just never know…