05 Apr / The Story of Lee (vol. 1) by Seán Michael Wilson and Chie Kutsuwada
The greatest strength of this series debut is, without a doubt, the art: the first spread, for example, captures the eponymous Lee gliding along on her bike, then the shock of a narrowly-missed collision with an elderly woman, and the embarrassed apology as she picks up her scattered belongings. The story, however, is another matter … but you can be the judge in this case.
Lee is 24, working for her father in the family’s small grocery store in Hong Kong. She dreams of British punk bands and overseas adventures while her father keeps pushing her to date Wang, a young man of his choice, and settle down to a secure future.
But then Lee meets a Matt, a handsome blond foreigner from Edinburgh who comes in to use the copy machine to duplicate his poems. Sparks fly. Lee’s father is hardly supportive so Lee has to sneak out when she can. Cultural differences (no surprise) threaten to keep the lovebirds apart, but Lee’s worldly uncle arrives deus ex machina-style and saves her future …
In spite of the predictable events, the story definitely has some sweet moments: Lee’s relationship with her frail grandmother, her easy-going bond with her widowed uncle. But here’s where that predictability causes an eyeball to roll: of course, Matt turns out to be an Asiaphile, but Lee actually falls for lines like “Girls in this part of the world are number one … I’m constantly amazed by how good-looking they are. It’s not fair on the rest of the world! He he …”
Do I really even need to add any further comments?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult