I wanted to keep up with my reviews. I still have another 20 books to review, since January. Today, I will review The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff. This is another graphic novel about two people who meet under the course of a brothers death. Deshi Li, is in need of a dead woman to marry his recently deceased brother and comes across Lily Chen, a young woman who is in need of money to save her family’s farm. Together they go on this adventure and discover who they are as well as the possibility of love.
I must apologize now, this is not going to be a positive review. There were a lot of negative points over the positive ones. I want to give you an honest review, so let’s begin.
The cover of the book made the artwork look stunning, however, there were only a few pages with beautiful artwork. Other than that, I felt as though the artwork was a political satire making fun of a race of people. In addition, the color scheme did not work well with the story. I felt like there should have been bolder colors as well as a mixture between new and old styles of artwork. Novgorodoff, mainly used pastels, and very few bold colors. Those bold colors were to highlight certain key points in the story, like the death dress or was used in the background for nature. In the end, the more modern drawing with pastels did not do justice to the story or the culture.
I also was not a fan of the characters, and it took me a while to get sold on the story. Lily, is really annoying. She does a lot of talking and makes such horrible choices that gets our main character into trouble. Some of her choices are really bad choices. I understand that she was sheltered, but couldn’t be that sheltered to make some really poor choices, like trading a donkey for a broken motor bike. In addition, she was okay with her father falling in the river. I also question that, due to her very sheltered life. I question our main character’s, Deshi, existence. There are some things that don’t add up. For example, him being in the military and being able to not be arrested at his brother’s funeral when he is wanted. In addition, I am also wondering how the parents did not get a hold of the truth about their failure of an older son.
In all, I did find the story interesting. The idea of finding a bride for a dead man was fascinating. Though, I do feel as though the story was lacking in being able to answer some basic questions and giving us a conclusion to the story. The parts where it was obvious that Danica used water color was beautiful. Some of the mountain scenes as well as the ghost scene were breath taking.
I ended up giving this book two out of five stars on Goodreads. If I was allowed to give out partial stars, I would honestly give the book two in a half stars out of five. I am not even willing to recommend this book to everyone. The artwork is the main reason why I am really upset. I will admit that I had high expectations of the novel, and was sorely disappointed. Not only was the artwork lacking, but the story line was not as thrilling as it sounded even though I was fascinated. I felt like there could, and should be more.
If you have read the book, please let me know what you think. Was I really harsh with my review for the book, or am I justified? I will put some pages from the inside the book down below. Please let me know. Happy Reading!