A Boy and a Girl is a deceptively simple premise: Before Sunrise meets Bladerunner. In the near future, a young man and girl meet and have only 24 hours to get to know each other before she has to leave for her new job. They meet at a party where a man has replaced his mother with an android to cope with her loss – and from then on there are a lot of musings on what it means to be human and what it means to be a robot. Both are lively and full of curiosity, fun, and action – and he is so taken with her that after she leaves him in the morning, he spends the day tracking her down (with disastrous consequences). They both have secrets but they both find themselves drawn to each other despite the troubles they will encounter.
The plot synopsis does sound a bit bland – but it needs to be to avoid spoilers (and there are plenty of surprises as both of their pasts catch up with them that day and night). The plot is intelligently written and definitely worthy of several reads to catch all the nuances a reader may have missed in the first or second reading.
The artwork has clean lines and is two color blue and black/white. The action is easy to follow and the characters have bright, open, emotional expressions that make the book a joy to read. Their innocence and joy at find each other is catching – even as thugs from his past and mistakes from her catch up to them in the course of that day/night. I think that emotion and the feelings of hope and happiness from them – and the natural expressions in both the writing and illustration, is what drew me to the characters.
The beginning is necessarily slow as we get to know them. I almost didn’t want to continue after the first few pages but am heartily glad I did as the story unfolded. This is one of those rare stories that stays with you afterwards – a future tale that is very grounded in humanity and not cold, dystopian, or humorless. The tight plot is really balanced by the playful artwork.
In all, highly recommended. This graphic novel was received as an ARC from the publisher.