Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
TW: Self harm and blood.
First of all, as someone who has been taking prescription medication for depression and anxiety for many years, I feel that I need to put this out there - it is not weak or giving in or losing yourself to make the decision to use medication to manage any kind of mental condition. There are many kinds of medication on the market and just because one doesn't work for you doesn't mean that none of them will. If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone you care about or call 1-800-273-8255.
I wanted to like this story. A ghost story topped with mental illness and an interracial lesbian couple? Sign me up. That rings all my bells. Unfortunately, I just felt that Archival Quality fell short.
Cel is at a turning point in her life. Just coming out of a recent breakdown and looking for a new job, she is doing her best to manage everything on her own without accepting any assistance from medication, therapy, or even her loving boyfriend. We've all been there, I get it. That's when she accepts a position as the archivist for a local small medical museum.
The illustration and coloring is reminiscent of Lumberjanes and Nimona, but a little less crisp. The characters are deliciously diverse and well-developed. I felt that they were all real people that I could imaging being friends with.
Unfortunately, my joy with this novel ends there. I found the ending disappointing and I wanted so much more from Cel. I wanted some serious character development, but I'm not sure that she ever really got there.
This is a short, easy read. If you're coming off of something deep and need a little brain candy, this will definitely do it. I don't know that this is something I would purchase or give as a gift, personally, but at the same time I don't regret spending the time reading this.
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.
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