Wednesday, October 19, 2016

book review: Spot 12 by Jenny Jaeckel

The basics: Spot 12 is Jenny Jaeckel's graphic memoir of her experience giving birth and the months following, when her daughter Asa was in intensive care. 

My thoughts: The premise of this book sounded right up my alley. Since I gave birth (26 months ago now), I've stayed interested in parents, particularly mothers, talking about the transition into parenthood. I was curious to see how Jaeckel's transition was similar and different given her daughter's health problems.

Unfortunately, I found Spot 12 to be more of journal than a memoir. The language was mostly simplistic and recounted events. I kept waiting for Jaeckel to offer more insight or hindsight, but it didn't happen. I was yearning for wisdom.

I think a few of Jaeckel's style choices contributed to the emotional disconnect I felt with Jaeckel's story. First, the memoir is entirely black and white and doesn't play much with the shape and size of cells. I prefer my comics to push the medium farther in terms of color and shape aesthetics. Second, the text rarely interplayed directly with the graphics. Too often, I found myself wondering why the images were there or why they were associated with that text. Lastly, Jaeckel chose to depict all the characters as animals and give them cutesy names. I found both distracting and at times confounding.

I'll be honest, Jaeckel and I look at the world very differently, and I wish she would have explored more of her choices and viewpoints to offer her perspective. She was against vaccination, but she glosses over it with a single sentence, which I found maddening. She references a family friend who "regularly visits the unknown" and claims to have talked to Asa. I'm willing to go on these journeys with an author, but I want more context and reflection to help make sense of them. I actually found the afterward to be the most interesting part of the book, as Jaeckel gives an update for this American release on where she and her family are now.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Length: 116 pages
Publication date: October 7, 2016
Source: publisher via TLC Book Tours

Want to read for yourself? Buy Spot 12 from Amazon (no Kindle edition) or Barnes and NobleWant more? Visit all the stops on the tour (spoiler: lots of other people really liked it!), visit Jenny Jaeckel's website, and follow her on Twitter.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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