"This is one of the best coming-of-age comics around. Valentine is a shy teenager making her way through the ups and downs of high school. Vanyda charts the different facets of adolescence with profound psychological accuracy. Everything is here: those all-important friendships, the interminable classes, the complicated love affairs, and the relationship with the parents. Teenagers will recognize themselves, while ""adults"" will be reminded all too keenly of those chaotic formative years!"
Valentine is a secondary-school student like many others. Her daily life is filled with all the upheavals and self-questioning of adolescence. Self-conscious, she tries to assert herself within a group in which she is "the shy one". She spends most of her time with her girlfriends, at school or at parties on the weekend. She also tries desperately to get the attention of Felix, the boy she's in love with – and who has no idea she exists. To make things worse, he's in the "rival" class to her own... Little by little, this young woman learns to express herself and find her place in the cruel and treacherous world of adolescence, from MP3 players and Japanese mangas, to her first parties and her first whiskey and Coke.
Going into their last year of middle school, Valentine and her friends are at that defining time of their lives when new experiences are coming thick and fast. They've got their finals just around the corner, but that doesn't stop them from bunking classes and flirting with guys (even if, in Valentine's case, they're not the guys she actually wants to flirt with... the gorgeous Felix is as aloof as ever). Valentine struggles to find her feet in this emotional whirlwind.
In the third volume of the series, Valentine enters into her first year of high school. Bad news! The group of four girls is split up into different classes. At first it looks like Valentine's the unlucky one -- the kids in her class are decidedly uncool. But once she gets to know them a little better, she starts to see that maybe she was wrong to judge so quickly.
In Book 4, Valentine finishes her first year of high school. As she does, she becomes more and more sure of herself. Her views of society take a turn for the critical, and she develops a greater willingness to branch out from her tight-knit group of friends. This new independent spirit motivates her to begin publishing a fanzine with Yamina. Meanwhile, Juliette and Melvin prepare for a break-dancing competition. And on the boy front, things are as complicated as ever: Felix is still just a "good friend," and Baptiste is flirting up a storm...
Valentine is in her second year of high school and once more in a class where she doesn't know anyone. But that won't stop her from living her life: the manga club, her hip-hop group, and her lunch breaks give her a chance to catch up with her friends. That is, when Yamina isn't hanging out with her new boyfriend! Valentine will soon be 17 years old, but she still blushes as much as ever when she sees her crushes coming her way. If only she could think of something to say to Félix, beyond asking him if he'd like a glass of water...
The sixth and final chapter of Vanyda's "Valentine," taking us through to the end of adolescence. After going through moments of loneliness and self-doubt, Valentine is finally able to just be herself. She's grown up, and is set on running her own life from now on, choosing her friends and her hobbies, following her own political ideas, and even deciding what kind of relationship to have with her family. Valentine has certainly matured—but the return of Charles might also have something to do with her entering adulthood!
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