When Elle starts at a new school, she immediately makes friends with a group of four other students. Things are going well for a few weeks until Elle is confronted by a variety of stressful triggers and starts acting differently. Her friends think these might be different versions of Elle peeking through various emotions, but are confused and hurt but Elle’s actions. Maelys, one of Elle’s new friends, isn’t ready to give up on their friendship, though, and starts working with Elle to identify these other personalities and how to control them. As they start to put together clues, things about Elle’s past don’t add up and she has even more questions than before. Meanwhile, inside Elle’s head, a blue version of her wants to be in charge and is the one activating the other personalities to cause mischief.
Volume two continues the story of Elle’s main personalities, Rose and Blue. Rose is now stuck in her subconscious looking for a way out while Blue is in control of Elle’s body. Rose finds herself traveling thorough each part of her subconscious, learning more about her other personalities while trying to find her way out. Maelys is sure that this Elle isn’t her friend and tries to talk to Blue about the changes she and their other friends have noticed. When Blue won’t listen, Maelys tries something drastic to help her friend.
The best part of these two volumes is the use of color. The artist did a brilliant job using color to show the reader the six distinct personalities of Elle across both volumes. Besides being integral to character development, the colors are bright and vibrant and create the perfect atmosphere for each part of the story, even the sad and tense moments. I also like the variation of panel layouts and how those affect the pacing of the story. There are lots of small, short panels to indicate faster pacing while full page panels have the reader slowing down to admire the details and think about the story.
I highly recommend this series to any reader over the age of ten. Although each volume is just under 100 pages, the subject of multiple personalities and exploring feelings and anxiety can get heavy. The main characters are young teenagers, so there is also plenty of regular teenage angst in the mix as well as the mystery of Elle’s personalities. It looks like there are only two volumes planned at this time, so I’d like to note that many of the story threads are wrapped up in volume two, but readers may want to spend longer in this world exploring Elle’s head space.
Elle(s), vol 1: The New Girl
Elle(s), vol 2: The Elle-verse
By Kid Toussaint
Art by Aveline Stokart
vol 1 ISBN: 9781684970933
vol 2 ISBN: 9781684971282
Publisher Age Rating: 12+
NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Tween (10-13)
Creator Representation: Belgian