Genre: Graphic Novel (Autobiographical Memoir)
Pages: Print 177
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Author: Debbie Tung
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy that I checked out from my library. This review does not reflect the views of the author, publisher, or library I checked it out from.
Sweet, funny, and quietly poignant, Debbie Tung’s comics reveal the ups and downs of coming of age as an introvert.
This illustrated gift book of short comics illuminates author Debbie Tung’s experience as an introvert in an extrovert’s world. Presented in a loose narrative style that can be read front to back or dipped into at one’s leisure, the book spans three years of Debbie’s life, from the end of college to the present day. In these early years of adulthood, Debbie slowly but finally discovers there is a name for her lifelong need to be alone: she’s an introvert.
The first half of the book traces Debbie’s final year in college: socializing with peers, dating, falling in love (with an extrovert!), moving in, getting married, meeting new people, and simply trying to fit in. The second half looks at her life after graduation: finding a job, learning to live with her new husband, trying to understand social obligations when it comes to the in-laws, and navigating office life. Ultimately, Quiet Girl sends a positive, pro-introvert message: our heroine learns to embrace her introversion and finds ways to thrive in the world while fulfilling her need for quiet
I stumbled up this book while browsing through my social media feed. However, this wasn’t the first time I viewed comics by this author before. I noticed these comics in a few articles I read in the past year but did not know there was a book.
The graphic novel starts with Debbie in college during her last years trying to navigate life as an introvert and figure out how to become an adult. She struggles to grasp the concept of social gatherings and dating. In true introvert style, she prefers to spend her time at home alone reading or in a quiet space. The author provides humorous illustrations to describe the everyday challenges of introverts. Debbie struggles with meeting new people, understanding specific social cues, and interacting with people. Social interactions, to her, cause a physical and emotional strain causing her to have to recharge after an event. We watch Debbie navigate through dating, finding a potential suitor, and interacting with others. She even faces the dreaded post-graduate life where you have to find a job and be an “adult.” In the end, she figures out who she is and learns that she is okay. That there is nothing wrong with her. She decides to do her research, read a few books to understand her personality, and truly embraces who she is. She can finally understand why she is the way she is and fully accepts that it’s okay not to be “normal.”
This graphic takes a humorous approach to describe the challenges of being an introvert. Debbie Tung illustrates a time when she attends a social gathering and the aftermath of her needing to recharge after interacting with so many people. She will typically spend a day doing nothing and just enjoying the lack of social interaction to prepare for her next gathering. Introverts may appear to be happy at events, but you will notice when they become distant and wander into a corner. I try to stay away from large gatherings because I have two versions of myself: one that gets nervous and talks way too much, the other that sulks and hides in the corner limiting social interaction. I usually go home and prefer to hibernate for 8 hours to prepare. I hate talking on the phone for more than 30 minutes after a day of work because I’ve been talking to people all day and wanted a break. If you are an introvert, then I highly recommend you picking up this graphic novel. You will soon see your everyday interactions come to life on a page.
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Comment below your introvert stories and how you handle it!
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