Wednesday 7 December 2016

Review! (Graphic Novel Edition!) Rendez-Vous in Phoenix by Tony Sandoval

Title: Rendez-Vous in Phoenix

Author: Tony Sandoval

Genre: Graphic Novels, Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Contemporary

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.

This looked... intriguing.

And after making my list of graphic novels with Latinx characters, I became aware of just how few of them there are - particularly in terms of #ownvoices graphic novels available in English.


Tony's girlfriend is in America. Tony is in Mexico, and can't get a visa. So he decides to do what so many others do, and cross the border illegally.

This graphic novel is based on the creator's true story of crossing the border for love.

Best bits:

Even though this is so short (it's only about 80 pages in all,) the voice is so strong, unique, and authentic, that you will feel thoroughly satisfied by the end.

I love finding new and different voices in graphic novels - and this was so strong!

There's a definite confidence to this - maybe it comes from telling your own story - and that shines through.

It took a little time to get used to the artwork but I really warmed to it after a while.

It's certainly distinct - but with the hint of an air of Belleville Rendez-Vous that maybe comes from the author currently living and working in France, but without the slightly unnerving edge that I've always found that film to have.

This little book is, above all, a love story - a story about humans and love and hope and happiness. And that's beautiful.

Not so great bits:

The art style does take some getting used to it - but as I said in the previous section, I warmed to it.

There's a bunch of swearing and some racial slurs directed at Tony, as well as references to the harrowing journeys of some of the other migrants which may upset some.

My main problem with this book, though, was with the black people, when they featured, being portrayed mainly negatively - as leering criminals lurking in the shadows, for example.

I know that this book is based on personal experience, but I still think that the rep., and the images, could've been tempered - at least a little.

That note did sour things a bit.


In the end, though not perfect, this is a book about hope and love; it's about looking for something better, reaching for the stars; it's about people.

And that's pretty damned awesome.

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Too bad to hear how black people were portrayed.
    Just based on the cover I can see how it took you a while to get used to art work.
    Great review! ;)

    1. Yeah, it did sour it a bit. Overall a great book though.

      Thank you! :)

  3. Aww the story sounds quite beautiful! Besides how black people were portrayed, I can tell it was a very diverse book!

    1. It was very good - pity about the sour note, but otherwise excellent :)

  4. Even from the cover I was a little bit unsure about the art style, but I am glad you could get used to it after a little while of reading. And also, I liked this as soon as I heard it was based on a true story. No wonder the voices and plot felt so real!


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