Daybreak by Brian Ralph

#25! I did it! I completed the YALSA Best of the Best reading challenge.  Now, I have to admit that this morning I wrote about #24, which was Scorpio Games, and I was fully prepared to read right up until the final day (Saturday) The Notorious Benedict Arnold.  It seemed a fitting ending-a book I wouldn’t normally read, but one that I expected would surprise me with its fascinating insight into American history’s popular punchline. But then I picked up another one of the books on the list that I’d gotten, Daybreak, and saw that it was much shorter, as well as a practically wordless graphic novel.  So obviously I read that. In the time it took for Paul to read the kids their bedtime stories.  It feels like cheating, but it’s on the list, so it counts. And hey, maybe I’ll read about Benedict Arnold after all (but not until I finish Divergent, which I read all of 5 pages of at lunch today and am hooked on.)

So, Daybreak.  For someone who really hates zombie stuff, I seem to be reading a lot of zombie books lately.  One of the things I dislike about them is how they are so relentless and humanity will never win and so I feel that all zombie stories are, from the outset, hopeless.  In Daybreak you feel a little tricked-there’s a cute dog, a helpful one-armed fellow-hey, maybe this post-apocalyptic zombie world won’t be so bad! But of course, it is.
What is so interesting about this book is that you, the reader, are placed in the position of being one of the characters. The other two characters talk to you, and when you move what you see changes.  It’s most effective (and a bit disconcerting.)  I did have a little difficulty following some of the frames-trying to “see” in the dark and trying to distinguish differences between panels. The gore was very minimal, for which I was grateful. The color palette was actually really effective-not black and white, more like a dark sepia.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t dislike this, but I didn’t love it.

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