Review: The Story of My Tits

Illustrated cover of The Story of My TitsFirst off, how can you not crack a smile at the title?

As the cover clearly states, this is the story of Jennifer Hayden’s breasts – from birth, to awkward adolescence, to motherhood, to breast cancer and beyond.

I was drawn in by the title and the fact that it’s a graphic novel, but I fell in love with this book because of the first few lines: “I was born without any tits. Just the usual one-size-fits-all nipples. Because of that I was happy stupid and free.” This made me expect a good deal of humour and I wasn’t disappointed.

The Story of My Tits offers wit and heartfelt commentary on family and illness. So many of the people in Hayden’s life have been affected by cancer, it’s great to see her share her experience in such a lighthearted way.

The artwork often adds another level of humour. For example, Hayden uses labels or a bird sidekick to voice thoughts that don’t necessarily fit directly into the narrative, yet add fun. Her art style is sketch or doodle like, with lots of hatching and stippling. The graphics range from character pictures and everyday scenes, to depictions of famous artwork, to monster faces and boobs (lots and lots of boobs). There’s a lot of variety, yet it remains cohesive and works well with the narrative.

I sat down and read this in a day because I enjoyed it so much. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s real. Hayden honestly portrays the ups and downs of her relationships and her struggles with cancer and this made it perfect for my first delve into graphic novels. I may even look into Hayden’s other works.

Final verdict: A witty and heartfelt story definitely worth picking up – especially for fans of memoirs or graphic novels.

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