Book Review: First Year Out by Sabrina Symington First Year Out: A Transition Story (9781785922589): Symington,  Sabrina: Books

Title: First Year Out- A Transition Story

Author: Sabrina Symington

Genre: Graphic Novels

Number of Pages: 100

Rating: F

Recommended?: No

This was one of the worst graphic novels I’ve ever read, and I can only imagine it got published because #ownvoices books by trans writers are very popular in the industry right now. There’s lots of need for these kinds of stories and this kind of representation but this graphic novel is ineptly written, poorly illustrated, and generally painful to get through. One of the main problems is that it quickly became clear that this book has no interest in having a engrossing storyline or interesting characters.

It has one purpose and one purpose only- to send a message about the issues transgender people face. Even though the author’s intentions are good, her approach guarantees that the reader is subjected to a number of rambling didactic speeches with terrible dialogue trying to inform readers about a number of gender identity-related issues. The main character is a transgender woman named Lily, who doesn’t have a single identifiable character traits besides her gender identity.

The characters are beyond one-dimensional, they only exist to fill utterly shallow roles in how they treat Lily. None of the dialogue seems like something that would ever come out of a real person’s mouth, nobody ever thinks about anything except the main character’s gender identity. They have no dreams, hobbies, interests, or any kind of nuance whatsoever. The art style was puerile and alienating, and this book made me feel stupider just by having read it.