Book review: Exquisite Corpse, by Pénélope Bagieu

Bagieu Exquisite CorpseBagieu, Pénélope. Exquisite Corpse. First Second. 2015. $19.99. 128p. HC. 9781626720824.

Twenty-two year old Zoe is living a lackluster life. She hates her job as a product representative which mostly consists of posing for pictures with creepy guys. Her boyfriend is unmotivated and unappealing. When her life intersects with a middle-aged, intelligent recluse, Thomas, she finally starts to find happiness. However, she quickly realizes something is amiss. Thomas is an author who never leaves the house, and his editor that stops by in the middle of the night is his ex-wife! One day when Zoe stops in a bookstore, she discovers his shocking secret: everyone thinks he’s dead! Having initially published books to great acclaim, after a while his critics became harsher. To re-gain success, he and his editor faked his death and she went on to publish his “lost manuscripts.” How is Zoe supposed to start a life with a dead man?

This graphic novel import from France is a delightfully fun one-sitting read. The simple cartoon art with subdued colors and the straightforward panels make this book visually appealing and a very accessible read. The story is light and fun making it a great recommendation for fans of romantic comedies. Additionally, (without giving away spoilers) the little LGBT twist at the end is very satisfying.

Highly recommended for adult graphic novels collections. Pass this one along to fans of breezy romance and funny, quirky stories.

Jenna Friebel
Youth Services Librarian
Deerfield (IL) Public Library


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