Review: Everything is Flammable

Your relationship with your parents can be quite complex and is never straight forward as nay one wished it was.  In my personal experience, I have seen relationships where people are so alike their parents they don’t get along. There are the ones that are they total opposites, where they are pretty much each other’s best friends. Then there are the ones that are somewhere in between those roles, where the occupation of either parent or child is quite evident.

I know personally, in my relationships with both my parents, I have experienced all of these things, which leads to the complexity. This becomes more of a struggle once the child becomes an adult, as it becomes harder to decipher those boundaries. It becomes worst once you are both an adult and a parent, as some lessons your parents tried to teach you come full circle while others remain a mystery. In Gabrielle Bell’s Everything Is Flammable, the creator’s relationship with her mother is examined on top of life’s many challenges.

We meet the creator, shortly after getting the phone call, that her mother’s home has burned down, and she must go home in order to help her mother through picking up the pieces. What trips up Gabrielle, is that she also has to deal with money problems, anxiety, and her relationship with other people. Throughout the book, it is divided into chapters all seemingly chronological but expertly told, as we not only get to know the creator, but how her mother has shaped her into who she has become. By book’s end, the reader has taken a rather intimate peek into Gabrielle’s life, much like how the best documentaries pull you in.

Overall, an excellent book where the artist is not scared to be vulnerable, which is this tome was nothing but exquisite. The stories by Bell are relatable, sometimes hard to watch but ultimately leaves you rooting for her. The art by Bell feels very warm and intriguing. Altogether, a book that should be on everyone’s lap.

Story: Gabrielle Bell Art: Gabrielle Bell
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy