Layers: a memoir by Penelope Bagieu

Published on January 15, 2024

drawing of a girl laying on a carpet surrounded by papers

Reviewed by Samantha Calderone

French illustrator, and author of Brazen reflects on her childhood and teen years in this autobiographical work. Inspired by the author's actual diary entries, and told in 16 short comics, each story focuses on a different aspect of growing up. 

In illustrated this memoir, Penelope Bagieu uses easy to follow illustrations in order to create lively stories that will resonate with many teens covering topics such as loss, self-doubt, family, friendships and much more. Each short story has its own emotional impact, some will resonate more than others. The entirety of the work covers serious topics without being too weighed down, and Bagieu offers moments of comedic relief to offset the somber tone of some of her stories. 

Bagieu's memoir offers glimpses into the everyday moments that many teens may have experienced. The memoir covers important topics in a way that engages readers while also providing empathy and understanding. While the entirety of Bagieu's memoir is fairly short, the witty content and fun illustrations make it worth the read. 

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