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Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return - Marjane Satrapi, Anjali Singh I was surprised by the number of bad reviews for this. I thought it was great. If you're expecting a basic reiteration of the first book, then you'll be disappointed. The first book was captivating for somewhat different reasons. It told the story of the Islamic Revolution through a child's eyes. The way she saw and interpreted things through this perspective is understandably different from the perspective of the teenage/early 20s Marjane that we get in this book. And I'm not sure about you, but for me, reading from an angsty teenager's perspective is always going to be less fun. Unless you are also an angsty teenager and find the angst relatable.

Aside from that difference in tone and perspective, the subject matter is different. Rather than a first person account of the Revolution, this told the story of being removed from your home, your family, and your culture. This was about what it's like to be suddenly and unwillingly uprooted, with little in the ways of a support network. It was about the disappointment she felt when she realized Westernization wasn't all that she'd dreamed of and the helplessness she felt in watching, as an outsider, as her country fell back into war. Without this failed first expedition to Europe, her decision to leave the second time wouldn't have been as meaningful. And on top of that, it was about many of the ordinary experiences teenagers have - drinking, drugs, first loves, first heartbreaks, attempts at finding your identity, attempts at finding true friends. Those elements are regularly included in coming of age stories, so I'm not sure why people are up in arms that they'd make an appearance here - particularly given the traumatizing experiences the main character has been through.

So, I think as long as you realize it's going to be different from the first book, you'll still find it valuable. I thought it was an excellent follow up.