The Undertaking of Lily Chen

The Undertaking of Lily Chen

Book - 2014
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"Fictional graphic novel telling a magical realist story set in the world of the black market for deceased brides in China"--
Publisher: New York, New York : First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Hotzbrincki Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, ©2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781596435865
Characteristics: 429 pages :,chiefly colour illustrations ;,22 cm.


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Andrew Kyle Bacon
Jan 24, 2018

This graphic novel is in no way perfect, but I loved every second that I spent reading it.

I think the art is somewhat inconsistent (this is my biggest complaint), I think the characters sometimes act in ways that seem strange given their situation (nitpick), and I feel like the book's ending needed more development (also a nitpick). As it stands, the book's ending is underwhelming and sort of phoned in; what is setup to be a big surprise to the reader is really no surprise at all. But, all of that said, I enjoyed the heck out of this book. For all of its flaws, I think this is a great heart to this story's narrative, and I highly recommend reading it.

Not for the kiddos though. Would it be a solid fit for teens? Sure, but certainly not the kids.

May 19, 2015

Silly juvenile story, but lush graphics.

miley327 Apr 09, 2015

Decent story. Beautiful graphics.

Feb 17, 2015

is a difficult story, both because the art didn't engage me and because it deals with a lot of death but only ever follows the surface words and actions around characters. It's hard to see if the protagonist is ever haunted, until he's literally haunted in the story. Frankly, the story didn't engage me BUT the odd combination of gorgeous watercolor backgrounds and child-like figure drawings for the characters was oddly compelling. It's gritty, through and through, so be forewarned on that.

ChristchurchLib Aug 05, 2014

"In The Undertaking of Lily Chen Deshi, a hapless young man living in northern China, is suddenly expelled from ordinary life when his brother dies in an accident. Holding Deshi responsible for his brother's death, his parents send him on a mission to acquire a corpse bride to accompany his brother into the afterlife, in accordance with an ancient Chinese tradition that has many modern adherents. Eligible dead girls are in short supply, however. When Deshi falls into company with a young--and single--woman named Lily, he sees a solution to his problems. The only hitch is that willful, tart-tongued Lily is still very much alive. As Deshi and Lily adventure through a breathtaking mountain landscape, meeting a host of eccentric characters and dangerous adversaries along the way, Deshi just can't decide whether to kiss the girl or to kill her." Teen Scene August 2014 newsletter

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