ALWAYS HUMAN by Ari North
Publisher: Yellow Jacket
Number of Pages: 256
On-Sale Date: May 19, 2020
Genres: Graphic Novels, Romance, LGBTQIAP+
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In the near-future, people use technology to give the illusion of all kinds of body modifications — from different colored hair and eyes, to highly-technological implants that change the way they function in the world. But some people aren’t so lucky, plagued with a highly sensitive immune system that rejects these modifications. Maintaining a “natural” appearance, these social outcasts must rely on cosmetics hair dye in an attempt to fit in.
Sunati is attracted to Austen the first time she sees her and is drawn to what she assumes is Austen’s bravery and confidence to live life unmodded. When Sunati learns the truth, she’s still attracted to Austen and asks her on a date. Gradually, their relationship unfolds as they deal with friends, family, and the emotional conflicts that come with every romance. Together, they will learn and grow in a story that reminds us no matter how technology evolves, we will remain… always human.
First serialized on the popular app and website WebToon, Always Human ran from 2015-2017 and amassed over 76,000 unique subscribers during its run. Today, as an archived piece on the site, the title has always over 400,000 unique viewers. Reformatted for a print edition in sponsorship with GLAAD, this beautifully-drawn, soft sci-fi, queer graphic novel will available wherever books are sold in both paperback and hardcover formats.
I loved Always Human so so much, I really didn’t want it to end. And I am definitely going to read this book at least a dozen times in future!!!
What I loved:
Uffffff! This book is gorgeous. The illustrations are so beautiful, colourful and vibrant. Always Human has the most stunning illustrations among all the graphic novels I have read till date. I guess you can get an idea from the cover only. The illustrations on the inside are also as gorgeous as the cover.
I think this has already been said by a lot of reviewers, but I am gonna say it too, because believe me I have never read any book with as much diversity as this one. There were non-binary people, lesbians, bisexuals, asexual, everyone plus there was diversity in terms of race as well. This is one of the main reasons I loved this Graphic Novel so much!
Sunati and Austen’s love story is so so cute and also so heartwarming! Omg!!!!!!! I loved every minute of Sunati and Austen’s love story. And I love love loved Austen and Sunati. I also really loved the side characters, Rae and Yasel.
Why not 5 stars?
So, the reason I deducted 0.5 stars is because I am not a big fan of sci-fi. So, whenever the sci-fi elements came I zoned out sometimes. There weren’t many sci-fi elements so it didn’t bother me much plus, the sci-fi scenes were mostly intermingled with or followed by cute romance, so how can I complain really? But anyway, I rate books depending on my enjoyment level, so, here it is, a solid 4.5 stars to Always Human from me!
My Favourite Quotes
*All the quotes are from an E-ARC of the book, so they may get changed in the final published copy*
Ari North is a queer cartoonist who believes an entertaining story should also be full of diversity and inclusion. As a writer, an artist, and a musician, she wrote, drew, and composed the music for Always Human, a complete romance/sci-fi webcomic about two queer girls navigating maturity and finding happiness. She’s currently working on a second webcomic, Aerial Magic, which is about the everyday lives of the witches who work at a broomstick repair shop. She lives in Australia with her husband.
About Little Bee Books: Little Bee Books is a children’s book publisher dedicated to making high-quality, creative, and fun books for busy little bees ages 0 through 14. Through three imprints dedicated to children’s, middle grade and licensed titles, Little Bee Books offers an inspired selection of early learning concept books, board books, novelty books, activity books, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction, gift sets, and more. For more information, please visit littlebeebooks.com.
About Yellow Jacket: Yellow Jacket, an imprint of Little Bee Books, is a middle grade publisher of series and standalone titles for ages 8 through 14, covering an array of genres including humor, historical fiction, magical realism, coming-of-age stories, graphic novels, and much more. For more information please visit yellowjacketreads.com