Publisher: Andrews McMeel Genre: Graphic Novel Release date: November 7, 2017 Pages: 186
One beautiful, summer Saturday at the end of September, I sat curled up in my basement reading Quiet Girl in A noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung, a book of collected comics centered on the author’s experiences of coming of age as an introvert in a world of extroverts. As I turned the last pages on my computer, I strongly considered opening back up to page one and immediately re-reading. Instead, I went online and pre-ordered the physical copy of the book. It needs to be a part of my library. And yes, I plan on reading it as soon as it arrives.
This collection can be read either front to back, as I did, or dipped into in any order. Organized around the central theme of being an introvert as a young adult, and following a roughly chronological timeline, the through line is loose enough that a reader would not be confused or lost if they were to pick up the book in the middle.
Tung covers topics including (but not limited to):
- The difficulties of navigating social scenarios and the tendency many introverts can have of trying to change or adapt their personalities to more closely match those of the extroverts around them
- The strong relationship with books
- The perils of group projects and, tied closely to that, the obstacles that come with working in an open workspace
- The concept of ‘social batteries’ and the activities which drain and recharge them
- The process of figuring out what it means to be an introvert, and that being this way is, in fact, okay.
As I flipped page after page of short comics with beautiful, but simple, black and white artwork, I saw myself in the pages. I found myself nodding and laughing as Debbie navigates college, graduation, relationships, and the workplace.
I’m the girl who faces big, exciting, life moments and wants nothing more than to take a nap. I’m the girl who realizes she’s an adult, with a “real” job and feels the need to build a blanket for to escape into. And these are just a couple examples from a book that hit home so many times I often found myself with tears in my eyes. It is a wonderful feeling to read a book and feel completely known, understood, and accepted.
I think the most important aspect of this collection of comics is the overall message that is portrayed. As Debbie navigates the world, she learns to accept who she is as an introvert. She realizes that it is okay to be the way she is. She doesn’t have to pretend to be an extrovert to be a functioning and valuable member of society. I also loved that her extroverted husband doesn’t force her to fit a mold. He understands the things that make her tick and he encourages her to make the changes she needs to thrive.
This book is definitely one of my favourite books of 2017 and I highly, highly recommend this book for you or for the introvert in your life.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.
I received a copy of this book from Andrews McMeel Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.