I see that tiny jellyfish.

Oof, from just looking at the cover I really thought that I would end up liking The Grémillet Sisters: Sarah’s Story by Giovanni Di Gregorio. With some of the most gorgeous illustrations I’ve ever seen by Alessandro Barbucci, I really thought that this book was going to head in a rather fascinating direction. I mean, honestly, just by looking at it you really find yourself expecting a fantasy story. Well, aside from some weird dreams…there’s nothing magical about this one.

The Story

This is something I really chock up to personal preference. I honestly just did not care one iota about the story. It’s definitely intriguing, at first. But I think I built up in my head some fantastical plot and was seriously let down when it turned out to be something well, ordinary.

For a book with such extraordinary artwork, this was such a letdown.

The premise is, more or less, mom has a secret. The girls want to know the secret. After a few strange dreams, the eldest leads her siblings in a raid of their attic under the guise of making a mother’s day present. Before you know it, they find a strange picture that doesn’t quite make sense. Thus, they set out to find out what it really means.

Illustrations

This is one of those graphic novels that I really expected to love. It all comes down to the art. Quite frankly, I’ve rarely seen artwork in graphic novels that’s as beautiful as the imagery in this book. Barbucci really outshines just about everything I’ve read. You can tell just from looking at the cover.

Each of the sisters have shining and individual personalities. Barbucci expertly captures all three. The setting pulls you right in. It’s incredibly easy to fall in love with. As a result, I kind of feel that the biggest problem with this graphic novel really lies in the fact that the fantastical nature of the artwork just doesn’t match the story being told.

I wanted something exceptional, exciting. I wanted magic. But that’s not what I got.

In Conclusion

Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed by The Grémillet Sisters. As much as I wanted to love it, the story clearly wasn’t one I’d like. I went in expecting a specific tale and ended up with something entirely different. It’s not bad, per se, but it’s definitely not what I wanted. So, just keep in mind that if you’re looking for something ordinary and non-magical, maybe this book is for you. If not? Well, you should probably pass.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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